Sequence analysis of human rhinovirus aspirated from the nasopharynx of patients with relapsing-remitting MS.
Journal article, 2009
BackgroundUpper respiratory infections were reported to trigger multiple sclerosis relapses. A relationship between picornavirus infections and MS relapses was recently reported.ObjectiveTo evaluate whether human rhinovirus is associated with multiple sclerosis relapses and whether any particular strain is predominant.MethodNasopharyngeal fluid was aspirated from 36 multiple sclerosis patients at pre-defined critical time points. Reverse-transcriptase-PCR was performed to detect human rhinovirus-RNA. Positive amplicons were sequenced.ResultsWe found that rhinovirus RNA was present in 17/40 (43%) of specimens obtained at the onset of a URTI in 19 patients, in 1/21 specimens during convalescence after URTI in 14 patients, in 0/6 specimens obtained in 5 patients on average a week after the onset of an "at risk" relapse, occurring within a window in time from one week before to three weeks after an infection, and in 0/17 specimens obtained after the onset of a "not at risk" relapse not associated with any infection in 12 patients. Fifteen specimens from healthy control persons not associated with URTI were negative. The frequency of HRV presence in URTI was similar to that reported for community infections. Eight amplicons from patients represented 5 different HRV strains.ConclusionWe were unable to reproduce previous findings of association between HRV infections and multiple sclerosis relapses. HRV was not present in nasopharyngeal aspirates obtained during "at risk" or "not at risk" relapses. Sequencing of HRV obtained from patients during URTI did not reveal any strain with predominance in multiple sclerosis.