Molecular Detection of Epstein–Barr Virus, Human Herpes Virus 6, Cytomegalovirus, and Hepatitis B Virus in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Mohsen Asouri, Mohammad Ali Sahraian, Morteza Karimpoor, Sadegh Fattahi, Nima Motamed, Rozita Doosti, Galia Amirbozorgi, Shokufeh Sadaghiani, Fereidoun Mahboudi, Haleh Akhavan Niaki



Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease with significant morbidity. A wide spectrum of risk factors has been suggested that triggers the development of MS. Among them, several viral infections have been implicated to play a role in MS pathogenesis.

We aimed to evaluate the relationship between viral diseases, including Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV) and MS in the present case-control study.


About 100 patients with confirmed MS and age- and sex-matched individuals were selected as case and control groups, respectively. The patients were randomly selected from individuals diagnosed by neurologists based on the clinical signs and symptoms and imaging procedures.


More than 100 patients with MS and patients who were referred for other causes were analyzed for the presence of DNA of EBV, HHV6, CMV, and HBV separately. 9.37% of the control group had a positive test for the DNA of EBV in a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), while the frequency of positive test result was zero in the case group (p=0.0012). HBV DNA was not detected in both the case and control groups. The prevalence of CMV was 0.88 and zero in the control and case groups, respectively (p =0.3410). For HHV6, 9.73 % of the control group had a positive result, while this test was positive in 5.88% of the patients with MS (p =0.2959).


 We detected a significantly higher number of individuals with DNA of EBV in their blood among the control group compared with the case group. In conclusion, the results suggest a surprisingly adverse association between MS and EBV, and no association was found between the presence of DNA of HBV, CMV, and HHV6 and MS.


Multiple Sclerosis; EBV; HHV6; CMV; HBV

Full Text:


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.