Decrease of blood anti-α1,3 Galactose Abs levels in multiple sclerosis (MS) and clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) patients

Clin Immunol. 2017 Jul;180:128-135. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2017.05.006. Epub 2017 May 18.


The etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) remains elusive. Among the possible causes, the increase of anti-Neu5Gc antibodies during EBV primo-infection of Infectious mononucleosis (IMN) may damage the integrity of the blood-brain barrier facilitating the transfer of EBV-infected B cells and anti-EBV T cell clones in the brain. We investigated the change in titers of anti-Neu5Gc and anti-α1,3 Galactose antibodies in 49 IMN, in 76 MS, and 73 clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) patients, as well as age/gender-matched healthy individuals. Anti-Gal and anti-Neu5Gc are significantly increased during IMN (p=0.02 and p<1.10-4 respectively), but not in acute CMV primo-infection. We show that, whereas there was no change in anti-Neu5Gc in MS/CIS, the two populations exhibit a significant decrease in anti-Gal (combined p=2.7.10-3), in contrast with patients with non-MS/CIS central nervous system pathologies. Since anti-Gal result from an immunization against α1,3 Gal, lacking in humans but produced in the gut, our data suggest that CIS and MS patients have an altered microbiota or an altered response to this microbiotic epitope.

Keywords: Anti-Neu5Gc; Anti-α1,3gal; EBV; Infectious mononucleosis; Microbiota; Multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Demyelinating Diseases / blood*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / immunology*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / blood
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology
  • Female
  • Galactose / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Galactose