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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)250-256
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Exacerbation
  • HHV-6
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Clinical Neurology

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