Absence of echovirus sequences in brain and spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients

Ann Neurol. 2001 Feb;49(2):249-53.


The role of enteroviruses in pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is controversial. A recent study, based on reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of spinal cord, reported identification of a novel echovirus in 15 of 17 French subjects with ALS and only 1 of 29 subjects with other neurologic diseases. We established a real-time RT-PCR method based on this novel echovirus sequence and used this method and that previously employed for analysis of the French subjects to determine the prevalence of echoviral sequences in spinal cord and motor cortex of sporadic ALS subjects from the United States. No echoviral sequences were found in 20 spinal cord and 10 motor cortex samples from autopsy-confirmed cases of ALS or 13 spinal cord and 5 motor cortex samples from subjects with no motor neuron disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / genetics*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Echovirus Infections / genetics*
  • Enterovirus B, Human / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Spinal Cord / pathology*