December 1987

Viral Antibody TitersComparison in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Author Affiliations

From the Queen's University of Belfast (Drs Shirodaria, Haire, Merrett, and Hawkins and Ms Fleming) and Royal Victoria Hospital (Drs Hawkins and Roberts), Belfast.

Arch Neurol. 1987;44(12):1237-1241. doi:10.1001/archneur.1987.00520240019006

• Higher titers of antibodies to measles virus envelope antigens, hemolysin and hemagglutinin, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) capsid antigen and nuclear antigen, and rubella virus hemagglutinin were demonstrated in serum samples of patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis than in age- and sex-matched control subjects. A significant correlation was observed between antibodies to measles and rubella viruses both in patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, but such a correlation was not observed between antibodies to EBV and measles or rubella viruses. Whether elevated levels of antibodies to EBV are due to reactivation of the virus, or elevated levels of antibodies to all the enveloped viruses result from cross-reactions between viruses and host tissue, or perhaps reflect defects in immunoregulation, needs further investigation.