Role of the HLA System in the Association Between Multiple Sclerosis and Infectious Mononucleosis

Sreeram V. Ramagopalan, Ute C. Meier, Margaret Conacher, George C. Ebers, Gavin Giovannoni, Dorothy H. Crawford, Karen A. McAulay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: To determine whether multiple sclerosis (MS) and infectious mononucleosis (IM) share common HLA associations.

Design: A prospective cohort study was conducted from October 1, 1999, through September 30, 2003.

Setting: University of Edinburgh Richard Verney Health Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Patients: Participants included 179 individuals who underwent asymptomatic Epstein-Barr virus seroconversion and 175 patients who developed IM.

Intervention: Genotyping for 5 classical HLA loci (HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-DRB1, and HLA-DQB1).

Main Outcome Measure: Diagnosis of IM and allele frequency.

Results: Allelic analysis showed that HLA-DRB1*01:01 was significantly associated with the development of IM (odds ratio, 3.2; P < .001). Patients with IM and HLA-DRB1*01:01 had a lower Epstein-Barr virus viral load compared with those without the allele (median, 783 vs 7366 copies/10(6) peripheral blood mononuclear cells; P = .03).

Conclusion: HLA-DRB1*01:01 is protective against developing MS; thus, a common genetic basis between IM and MS is not supported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-472
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


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