Effects of interferon-beta therapy on elements in the antiviral immune response towards the human herpesviruses EBV, HSV, and VZV, and to the human endogenous retroviruses HERV-H and HERV-W in multiple sclerosis

J Neuroimmunol. 2012 Aug 15;249(1-2):105-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2012.04.013. Epub 2012 May 16.


Effects of treatment of multiple sclerosis patients with IFN-β on elements of the antiviral immune response to herpesviruses were analysed in a longitudinal study. We found significantly increased seroreactivity to EBV EBNA-1, and to VZV, in patients who did not respond to IFN-β therapy. We found no significant changes in seroreactivity to EBV EA, or to HSV. For the same patient cohort, we have previously demonstrated significant decreases in seroreactivities to envelope antigens for the two human endogenous retroviruses HERV-H and HERV-W, closely linked to efficacy of therapy. We further searched for correlations between seroreactivities to EBV, HSV, and VZV, and levels of mannan-binding lectin (MBL), and MBL-associated serine protease 3. We found no such correlations. Our results are in accord with recent reports of increased seroreactivity to EBV EBNA-1, and to VZV in active MS, and they support that the herpesviruses EBV and VZV together with HERV-H/HERV-W and the antiviral immune response may play a role in MS development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chickenpox / complications
  • Chickenpox / immunology
  • Complement Pathway, Mannose-Binding Lectin / immunology
  • Endogenous Retroviruses / immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology
  • Female
  • Herpes Simplex / complications
  • Herpes Simplex / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / immunology
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / virology*
  • Simplexvirus / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / complications*
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interferon-beta