International Journal of Biomedical Science       3(4) 292-297                 

© 2005 Master Publishing Group

Original Article      [FullText]      [PDF]

Multiple Sclerosis and HERV-W/MSRV: A multicentric Study
Giannina Arru1, Giuseppe Mameli2, Vito Astone2, Caterina Serra2,Yu-Min Huang3,Hans Link3,Enrico Fainardi4,Massimiliano Castellazzi4,Enrico Granieri4,Miriam Fernandez5,Pablo Villoslada5,Maria Laura Fois1,Alessandra Sanna1,Giulio Rosati1,Antonina Dolei2,Stefano Sotgiu1

1Institute of Clinical Neurology, University of Sassari, Viale San Pietro 10, 07100, Sassari, Italy;

2Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Viale San Pietro 43/B, 07100 Sassari, Italy; 18, 07743 Jena;

3Neurotec Department, Karolinska Institute,Alfred Nobels Allé 10, 141 83 Stockholm, Sweden;

4Department of Neurology, University of Ferrara, Corso della Giovecca 203, Ferrara I-44100, Italy;

5Department of Neurology, Clinica Universitaria de Navarra, Pio XII 36, 31008, Pamplona, NA, Spain

Corresponding author:Prof. Stefano Sotgiu, Istituto di Clinica Neurologica, Università di Sassari, Viale San Pietro, 10-07100-Sassari, Italy. Tel: +39-079 228 231; Fax: +39-079 228 423; E-mail: or

human endogenous retrovirus, HERV-W, MSRV, multiple sclerosis
    We designed a large multicentric study to analyse the presence of MSRV particles in blood and CSF of a large cohort of patients and controls from different European areas. 149 MS patients and 153 neurological and healthy controls were selected from Sardinia, Spain, Northern-Italy and Sweden. To avoid biological and inter-assay variability MSRV was detected within a single laboratory through nested and real-time PCR assays specific for pol and env genes. MSRV detection in blood and CSF of MS patients and controls in populations of different ethnicity gave significant differences (p<0.05 compared to neurological controls and <0.001 compared to healthy controls). The presence and viral load of MSRV are significantly associated with MS as compared to neurological and healthy controls in all ethnic groups.

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