Multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment with new agents is associated with the risk of the development of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The seropositivity and a high index of anti-John Cunningham virus (JCV) antibodies are some of the risk factors for PML development. The aim of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of anti-JCVAb and JCVAb index (AI), as well as its correlations with demographic and clinical characteristics in treatment-naïve Polish MS patients. This is a multicenter, prospective, and cross-sectional study involving 665 MS patients. The overall prevalence of anti-JCVAb was 65.3%, while 63.1% of seropositive patients had an index level of >1.5. The seroprevalence was shown to increase along with the patient's age. Except for age, the prevalence of anti-JCVAb was not associated with demographic or clinical data. No correlations between the index levels and the demographic or clinical data were observed. In Poland, the seroprevalence of anti-JCVAb in treatment-naïve MS patients is one of the highest in Europe. The majority of seropositive patients had an anti-JCV antibody level denoting a high-risk category. This means that we need further studies to be conducted on the individualization of MS treatment in order to provide patients with an appropriate therapeutic safety level.
Keywords: John Cunningham virus; anti-JCV antibody; antibody index; multiple sclerosis; seroprevalence.