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EBV & HHV6 reactivation is infrequent and not associated with MS clinical course


Simpson Jr, S and Taylor, B and Burrows, J and Burrows, S and Dwyer, DE and Taylor, J and Ponsonby, A-L and Blizzard, L and Dwyer, T and Pittas, F and van der Mei, I, EBV & HHV6 reactivation is infrequent and not associated with MS clinical course, Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 130, (5) pp. 328-337. ISSN 0001-6314 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2014 John Wiley

DOI: doi:10.1111/ane.12268


BACKGROUND: Among the environmental factors associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) causation, some of the strongest associations are with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and to a lesser extent human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6). Associations with clinical course are less conclusive, however. METHODS: We evaluated serum anti-EBV-EA-R IgG and anti-HHV6 IgM, and EBV and HHV6 viral load (VL) for their associations with relapse, disability, and progression in disability in a prospective cohort of 198 participants with clinically definite MS. RESULTS: Anti-EBV-EA-R IgG was detected in 81.8% of cases at study entry, and titers remained essentially unchanged during the study. Anti-HHV6 IgM was detected in only one participant, and EBV-VL (29%) and HHV6-VL (1.8%) were detected in a minority of samples, and where detected levels were low. Our previously demonstrated association between anti-HHV6 IgG and relapse hazard was not affected by adjustment for parameters of reactivation. We found no evidence that any of the viral markers were associated with disability or progression in disability. In relation to relapse, only EBV-VL was positively associated, although this was strongly influenced by a single individual. CONCLUSION: Using a prospective cohort design, we found no convincing evidence that reactivation parameters of EBV or HHV6 were associated with subsequent MS relapse hazard or progression in disability, confirming previous findings, and indicating that herpesvirus reactivation is not an important driver of relapse or disability in this established MS population.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Epstein–Barr virus; human herpesvirus 6; relapse; disability; progression
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Simpson Jr, S (Dr Steve Simpson JR)
UTAS Author:Taylor, B (Professor Bruce Taylor)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Pittas, F (Dr Fotini Pittas)
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
ID Code:92216
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2014-06-10
Last Modified:2018-12-04
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