A group from San Carlos Hospital in Madrid, Spain, has published yet another study linking HHV-6 to complications in multiple sclerosis. 195 MS patients and 195 controls were analyzed for the presence of MHC2TA and CD46 genetic markers, as well as HHV-6 DNA in serum samples collected over a follow-up period of two years. While no significant difference was determined between the two groups for genetic markers (MHC2TA and CD46), a significant difference between patients with active HHV-6 replication and controls was observed for both polymorphisms of MHC2TA. In addition, significant differences were observed for both MHC2TA and CD46 amongst MS patients who responded to interferon beta treatment vs. non-responders.
These results suggest the possibility of genetic control associated with complications in MS directly related to HHV-6 replication, and reinforce the group’s previous work (Garcia-Montojo 2011), which demonstrates that MS patients without HHV-6 active replication are significantly better responders to interferon beta treatment.