Journal of NeuroVirology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 250–256 | Cite as

Increased detection of serum HHV-6 DNA sequences during multiple sclerosis (MS) exacerbations and correlation with parameters of MS disease progression

  • Rossana Berti
  • Meghan B. Brennan
  • Samantha S. Soldan
  • Joan M. Ohayon
  • Luca Casareto
  • Henry F. McFarland
  • Steven Jacobson


In recent years, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) has been investigated as a possible causative agent for MS. To determine if the detection of HHV-6 DNA in the serum of MS patients correlates with clinical parameters of MS disease progression, a total of 215 serum samples was obtained from 59 MS patients followed prospectively for a 5-month period. These samples were analyzed for the presence of HHV-6 DNA by nested PCR and compared in parallel to MS disease activity. HHV-6 DNA was amplified in 22% (4/18) of samples obtained during a period of clinical exacerbation. Significantly fewer (P = 0.008) sera, 5.6% (11/197), obtained from MS patients during clinical remission tested positive for the presence of HHV-6 DNA. This work demonstrates that the detection of serum HHV-6 DNA is significantly correlated with clinical exacerbations in MS. Moreover, the findings presented in this study have confirmed previous reports supporting an association between MS and HHV-6 and suggest a role for this human herpesvirus in the pathogenesis of MS.


HHV-6 multiple sclerosis exacerbation 


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Copyright information

© Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rossana Berti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Meghan B. Brennan
    • 1
  • Samantha S. Soldan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Joan M. Ohayon
    • 1
  • Luca Casareto
    • 4
  • Henry F. McFarland
    • 1
  • Steven Jacobson
    • 1
  1. 1.Viral Immunology Section, Neuroimmunology BranchNINDS/National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neuropharmacology and Molecular BiologyWalter Reed Army Institute of ResearchSilver SpringUSA
  3. 3.Institute for Biomedical Sciences/Department of GeneticsGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA
  4. 4.InforMax, IncBethesdaUSA

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