Neutralising antibodies to interferon β in multiple sclerosis
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- Hartung, H., Polman, C., Bertolotto, A. et al. J Neurol (2007) 254: 827. doi:10.1007/s00415-006-0486-3
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Interferon beta (IFNβ) therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with a potential for the development of neutralising antibodies (NAbs) that negatively affect therapy. Several factors influence the development of NAbs, such as lack of complete sequence homology with the endogenous IFNβ sequence, frequency of administration, level of dose and formulation of IFNβ. Taken together, the evidence that NAb status reduces clinical efficacy in MS patients is strong. Standardised assays for NAbs are lacking, and titres vary over time. NAb testing is a critical component of care for MS patients because it provides information on one of the most important factors determining clinical responsiveness to IFNβ therapy. This expert panel report attempts to move the field towards resolution of the remaining issues and considers several aspects of NAbs, including their clinical relevance, factors influencing immunogenicity, assays to quantify NAbs and the definition of clinically relevant titres.