Neutralising antibodies to interferon beta in multiple sclerosis : expert panel report

J Neurol. 2007 Jul;254(7):827-37. doi: 10.1007/s00415-006-0486-3. Epub 2007 Apr 24.


Interferon beta (IFNbeta) therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with a potential for the development of neutralising antibodies (NAbs) that negatively affect therapy. Several factors influence the development of NAbs, such as lack of complete sequence homology with the endogenous IFNbeta sequence, frequency of administration, level of dose and formulation of IFNbeta. Taken together, the evidence that NAb status reduces clinical efficacy in MS patients is strong. Standardised assays for NAbs are lacking, and titres vary over time. NAb testing is a critical component of care for MS patients because it provides information on one of the most important factors determining clinical responsiveness to IFNbeta therapy. This expert panel report attempts to move the field towards resolution of the remaining issues and considers several aspects of NAbs, including their clinical relevance, factors influencing immunogenicity, assays to quantify NAbs and the definition of clinically relevant titres.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies / blood*
  • Humans
  • Interferon-beta / immunology*
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Monitoring, Immunologic / methods
  • Monitoring, Immunologic / standards
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Neutralization Tests / standards


  • Antibodies
  • Interferon-beta