Correlations between Epstein-Barr virus antibody levels and risk factors for multiple sclerosis in healthy individuals

Nielsen, T. R.; Pedersen, M.; Rostgaard, K.; Frisch, M.; Hjalgrim, H.
April 2007
Multiple Sclerosis (13524585);Apr2007, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p420
Academic Journal
Background Female gender, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR2, tobacco smoking and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are established risk factors for multiple sclerosis (MS). Their possible interaction however, has been sparsely studied. Objectives To investigate possible associations between EBV antibody levels and a range of other recognized MS risk factors. Design, setting and study population Cross-sectional study undertaken in Denmark based on 517 healthy individuals selected from the Danish population. Methods We measured change in mean log (anti-Epstein-Barr viral capsid antigen (VCA) immune globulin G) using linear regression. Results Anti-Epstein-Barr VCA immune globulin G levels were positively correlated with female gender and HLA DR2. Furthermore, current smoking and cumulative tobacco consumption were positively associated with EBV antibody levels. Conclusion The association between Epstein-Barr VCA antibody levels and non-viral MS risk factors support the view that EBV is critically involved in the etiology of MS. These non-viral MS risk factors may be linked with MS risk through EBV-specific immune responses.


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