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Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection of the central nervous system in patients with multiple sclerosis
  1. S J Furrows1,
  2. J C Hartley2,
  3. J Bell3,
  4. N Silver4,
  5. N Losseff4,
  6. S Stevenson1,
  7. M Chapman4,
  8. E J Thompson4,
  9. G L Ridgway1,
  10. G Giovannoni4
  1. 1Microbiology Department, University College London Hospitals, London WC1E 6DB, UK
  2. 2Microbiology, Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond St, London WC1N 3JH
  3. 3Department of Infection Control National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG
  4. 4Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S J Furrows
 Microbiology Department, University College London Hospitals, Cecil Fleming House, London WC1E 6DB, UK;


Background:Chlamydophila pneumoniae has been postulated as an aetiological agent in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis. Previous studies show conflicting results.

Objective: To investigate patients with multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases for evidence of past or present infection with C pneumoniae.

Methods: 19 patients with multiple sclerosis and 29 with other neurological diseases were studied. Evidence was sought for past or present infection with C pneumoniae using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cell culture of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and microimmunofluorescence of serum.

Results:Cpneumoniae was grown from the CSF of one patient with multiple sclerosis. PCR was negative in all cases. Anti-chlamydial antibodies were detected in the same proportion in each group.

Conclusions: This study does not support the theory of an association between C pneumoniae and multiple sclerosis.

  • multiple sclerosis
  • chlamydophila pneumoniae
  • MIF, microimmunofluorescence
  • ELISA, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • ELONA, enzyme-linked oligonucleotide assay
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction
  • RFLP, restriction fragment length polymorphism

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  • Competing interests: none declared