Viral infections are implicated in the onset and promotion of autoimmunity in genetically predisposed individuals. In this study, immune response patterns to herpes viruses were compared in aquaporin 4 (AQP4) antibody positive central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity and multiple sclerosis (MS). Serum samples of patients with AQP4 antibody positive CNS autoimmunity (n=52), relapsing-remitting MS (n=55) and controls including non-autoimmune neurological disorders and healthy individuals (n=56) were tested for IgG antibodies to herpes viruses 1-6 (HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, EBV, CMV, HHV-6) using commercial ELISA kits. AQP4 antibody positive CNS autoimmunity cases most frequently had IgG responses to four viruses (38.5%), while presence of antibodies to three herpes viruses was most common in MS and controls (41.8% and 35.7%, respectively). Compared to MS, AQP4 positive cases had a significantly higher CMV seropositivity rate (P=0.003) and a lower prevalence of EBV antibodies (P=0.01). The analysis of immunoreactivity of samples above the diagnostic threshold revealed that in AQP4 positive CNS autoimmunity the IgG response to EBV (P<0.001) and VZV (P<0.01) was lower than in MS, whereas immununoreactivity to HSV-1 was higher than in controls (P<0.01). The distinct pattern of seroprevalence and immunoreactivity against herpes viruses in AQP4 positive CNS autoimmunity and MS provide further insights to the pathogenetical heterogeneity. Whether these findings reflect an epi-phenomenon of autoimmune disorders or indicate a disease-specific deregulated virus-host interaction needs to be examined in further studies.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
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