Is Epstein-Barr Virus a Risk Factor for Multiple Sclerosis?

Aktham Ismail Alemam, Mostafa Saleh Maleek

Abstract


Background: The immune system is involved in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) in genetically predisposed persons who are exposed to certain environmental stimuli that may include Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The aim of the present study is to evaluate if EBV is an environmental risk factor in MS patients in Egyptian population.

Methods: This is a prospective comparative study of 41 patients (18 - 50 years) including 25 females and 16 males versus 41 age-gender matched healthy controls tested for different EBV antibodies through serological examination using ELISA test after taking their informed consent. The data analysis was performed using Graphpad Prism 6.0 software.

Results: Thirty-one patients were of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), eight cases were clinically isolated syndromes (CIS) and two cases were primary progressive MS (PPMS). Expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score of patients ranged from 0 to 8. Anti-EBV-viral capsid antigen (VCA)-IgG, anti-EBV-early antigen (EA)-IgG and anti-EBV-EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1)-IgG antibodies showed no statistically significant difference between MS and control groups with P values of 0.083, 0.517 and 0.833, respectively. No significant statistical correlation was found between level of EBV antibodies and MS clinical type, relapse or previous viral infection.

Conclusion: According to our study, EBV infection might not be an independent factor in the development of MS in Eyptian population.




J Neurol Res. 2018;8(3):19-25
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jnr490w


Keywords


Epstein-Barr virus; Multiple sclerosis

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