Numerous studies have been carried out to determine whether an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection can be considered a risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS), following the evidence of an increase in IgG response to nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1) in both serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from MS patients. However, the possible interaction between EBV and MS has still not been well characterized, and the possible pathogenic role is yet to be determined. A case-control study (76 cases and 75 controls) was conducted to investigate anti-EBV antibodies synthesis in serum and CSF through intrathecal specific IgG synthesis to EBNA-1, as well as the presence of EBV DNA in plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and CSF from MS patients. Intrathecal EBNA-1 specific IgG synthesis was detected in 6.6% MS patients and in 17.3% controls. No EBV DNA was found in plasma or CSF, and our findings showed no evidence of high intrathecal EBNA-1 specific IgG synthesis or of significant EBV DNA in CSF in MS patients.
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