[Skip to Navigation]
June 1976

Immunogenetic Analysis and Serum Viral Antibody Titers in Multiple Sclerosis

Author Affiliations

From the Memphis Veterans Hospital and Department of Neurology, University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences (Dr Whitaker); the Perinatal Virology Branch, Bureau of Laboratories, Center for Disease Control, Public Health Service, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Atlanta (Dr Herrmann); the; Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md (Drs Rogentine and Stein); and the Neurology Service, Minneapolis Veterans Hospital (Mrs Kollins). Dr Whitaker is a Clinical Investigator with the Veterans Administration.

Arch Neurol. 1976;33(6):399-403. doi:10.1001/archneur.1976.00500060005002

• In order to investigate the possible relationships between multiple sclerosis (MS) and the factors of genetic predisposition and exposure to infectious agents, studies were undertaken in 59 male patients with MS to determine the histocompatibility antigen (HL-A) type and the serum antibody titer to rubeola hemagglutinin (HA), rubeola envelope antigen (V), rubeola nucleocapsid antigen (S), rubella, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, and parainfluenza 1.

The incidence of HL-A7 was significantly higher, and HL-A12 incidence was significantly lower, in the MS group than in control groups. The geometric mean titers to rubeola HA and to the V and S antigens were lower in the HL-A7 positive control patients than in either the non-HL-A7 controls or the MS patients. There were no specific relationships of the rubeola titer to HL-A12. Antibody titers to the other viruses studied were not significantly different in MS patients as compared to controls, nor was there any relationship of HL-A7 or HL-A12 and serum titer to those viruses.

This study provides further evidence of a genetic predisposition to MS, and of a relationship between rubeola and this disease. These findings suggest that the failure of MS to appear in individuals who might be genetically predisposed to this disorder may be related to their immune response to rubeola.

Add or change institution