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Polyspecific, antiviral immune response distinguishes multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica
  1. Jarius S (sjarius{at}
  1. Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
    1. Franciotta D
    1. University of Pavia, Italy
      1. Bergamaschi R
      1. University of Pavia, United Kingdom
        1. Rauer S
        1. Univeristy of Freiburg, Germany
          1. Wandinger KP
          1. University of Berlin, Germany
            1. Petereit HF
            1. University of Cologne, Germany
              1. Maurer M
              1. University of Wuerzburg, Germany
                1. Tumani H
                1. University of Ulm, Germany
                  1. Vincent A
                  1. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
                    1. Eichhorn P
                    1. University of Munich, Germany
                      1. Brigitte Wildemann
                      1. University of Heidelberg, Germany
                        1. Wick M
                        1. University of Munich, Germany
                          1. Voltz R (raymond.voltz{at}
                          1. University of Cologne, Germany


                            Background: A polyspecific, intrathecal humoral immune response against neurotropic viruses such as measles, rubella, and varicella zoster virus (MRZ reac-tion, MRZR) is present in 80-100% of MS patients, but has not been evaluated in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) so far.

                            Aim: To evaluate whether MRZR testing distinguishes NMO and MS.

                            Methods: Twenty patients with NMO and 42 with MS were included. The intrathe-cal synthesis of antibodies against measles, rubella, and varicella zoster virus was detected by calculation of the respective antibody indices (AI).

                            Results: A positive MRZ reaction as defined by a combination of at least two posi-tive AIs was found in 37/42 MS, but only in 1/20 NMO patients (p<0.0001). Median AI values differed significantly between groups (p<0.0005).

                            Conclusion: The polyspecific, antiviral humoral immune response characteristic for MS is widely missing in NMO, irrespective of the patients’ NMO-IgG status. Our findings further strengthen the case of NMO being pathologically distinct from MS.

                            • CSF
                            • Multiple sclerosis
                            • Neuromyelitis optica
                            • antibodies

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