Analysis of the systemic and intrathecal humoral immune response in progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

Thomas Weber, Corinna Trebst, Stephan Frye, Paola Cinque, Luca Vago, Christian J M Sindic, Walter Joachim Schulz-Schaeffer, Hans Arthur Kretzschmar, Wolfgang Enzensberger, Gerhard Hunsmann, Wolfgang Luke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a subacute viral infection of oligodendrocytes by JC virus occurring almost exclusively in immunocompromised patients. By use of partially purified recombinant VP1 as antigen, the IgG response was analyzed by a quantitative ELISA of paired cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum samples. An intrathecal immune response to VP1, defined as an antibody-specificity index of CSF to serum antibody titers ≤1.5, was found in 76% of PML patients (47/62) but in only 3.2% of controls (5/155) (P <.001). Intra-blood-brain barrier synthesis of VP1- specific IgG antibodies is 76% sensitive and 96.8% specific for the diagnosis of PML. Furthermore, the excellent correlation (r = .985) between the plasma cell count in brain tissue and the humoral intrathecal immune response to VP1 in PML patients suggests a role for B cells in this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-254
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume176
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology

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