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February 1980

Epstein-Barr Virus Antibodies in Multiple Sclerosis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Sumaya) and Neurology (Drs Myers and Ellison) and the Reed Neurological Research Center (Drs Myers and Ellison), UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles. Dr Sumaya is now with the Department of Pediatrics and Pathology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Arch Neurol. 1980;37(2):94-96. doi:10.1001/archneur.1980.00500510052009

• Serum antibody titers to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), an agent that persists in a latent form after the initial infection, were determined in 157 patients with multiple sclerosis and in 81 control subjects. Two patients (1.3%) and five control subjects (6.2%) lacked antibodies to EBV. In the subjects with antibodies, the prevalence of higher titers (≥ 1:160) was significantly greater in patients, 69 (44.5%), than in control subjects, 22 (28.9%). The geometric mean titer of antibodies to EBV was significantly higher in patients, 107.0, than in control subjects, 77.1. There was no association between antibody titers and duration or activity of the disease. These findings further support the contention that patients with multiple sclerosis have a general aberration of the immunological system.

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