Association of autism with polyomavirus infection in postmortem brains

Carla Lintas, Laura Altieri, Federica Lombardi, Roberto Sacco, Antonio M. Persico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Autism is a highly heritable behavioral disorder. Yet, two decades of genetic investigation have unveiled extremely few cases that can be solely explained on the basis of de novo mutations or cytogenetic abnormalities. Vertical viral transmission represents a nongenetic mechanism of disease compatible with high parent-to-offspring transmission and with low rates of disease-specific genetic abnormalities. Vertically transmitted viruses should be found more frequently in the affected tissues of autistic individuals compared to controls. Our initial step was thus to assess by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and DNA sequence analysis the presence of cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV2), human herpes virus 6 (HHV6), BK virus (BKV), JC virus (JCV), and simian virus 40 (SV40) in genomic DNA extracted from postmortem temporocortical tissue (Brodmann areas 41/42) belonging to 15 autistic patients and 13 controls. BKV, JCV, and SV40 combined are significantly more frequent among autistic patients compared to controls (67% versus 23%, respectively; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of NeuroVirology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Autistic disorder
  • BKV
  • JCV
  • Neocortex
  • Pervasive developmental disorders
  • SV40

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Association of autism with polyomavirus infection in postmortem brains'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this