IV immunoglobulin confounds JC virus antibody serostatus determination

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2014 Sep 18;1(3):e29. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000029. eCollection 2014 Oct.


Objective: To determine the impact of therapeutic infusion of IV immunoglobulin (IVIg) on John Cunningham virus antibody (JCV Ab) serostatus and level in serum.

Methods: We carried out a retrospective analysis of serum levels of JCV Ab among STRATIFY-2 trial enrollees from 2 multiple sclerosis centers who were exposed to IVIg during the trial. For the subset of eligible patients, we estimated mean linear trends while on IVIg and after stopping IVIg with a linear mixed-effects model.

Results: The JCV Ab seropositivity rate in the group of patients that was recently exposed to IVIg was 100%, which is significantly higher than in the IVIg-naive population (58%, p < 0.001). The seropositivity rate in the patient group with remote IVIg exposure was similar to that in the IVIg-naive population (67%, p = 0.68, Fisher exact test). The slope of the linear trend line after stopping IVIg decreased significantly by -0.310 units per 100 days (95% confidence interval, -0.611 to -0.008; p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Recent IVIg exposure is invariably associated with JCV Ab seropositivity. After stopping IVIg, JCV Ab levels tend to decrease with time, and seroreversion to innately Ab-negative status can occur.