Viremia preceding multiple sclerosis: Two nested case-control studies

Publication date: July 2018
Source:Virology, Volume 520
Author(s): Emilie Hultin, Laila Sara Arroyo Mühr, Zurab Bzhalava, Maria Hortlund, Camilla Lagheden, Peter Sundström, Joakim Dillner
Infections have been suggested to be involved in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We used metagenomic sequencing to detect both known and yet unknown microorganisms in 2 nested case control studies of MS. Two different cohorts were followed for MS using registry linkages. Serum samples taken before diagnosis as well as samples from matched control subjects were selected.In cohort1 with 75 cases and 75 controls, most viral reads were Anelloviridae-related and >95% detected among the cases. Among samples taken up to 2 years before MS diagnosis, Anellovirus species TTMV1, TTMV6 and TTV27 were significantly more common among cases. In cohort2, 93 cases and 93 controls were tested under the pre-specified hypothesis that the same association would be found. Although most viral reads were again related to Anelloviridae, no significant case-control differences were seen. We conclude that the Anelloviridae-MS association may be due to multiple hypothesis testing, but other explanations are possible.