Individuals with high levels of AntiBodies to the Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen 1 (EBNA-1) have an increased risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS), but this association could be confounded by genetic susceptibility.
We conducted a nested case-control study including 148 women with MS (18 with blood collected before disease onset) and 296 age-matched healthy women.
To determine whether the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) DRB1*1501 allele (DR15) and Anti-Epstein-Barr Virus (anti-EBV) AntiBody Titers are independent risk factors for MS.
The association between Anti-EBNA-1 AntiBody Titers and MS risk was not affected by adjustment for DR15 and was similar in DR15-positive and DR15-negative women.
The relative risk of MS among DR15-positive women with elevated (>1:320) Anti-EBNA-1 Titers was ninefold higher than that of DR15-negative women with low (< 1:80) Anti-EBNA-1 Titers.
Anti-Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen 1 (Anti-EBNA-1) AntiBody Titers are a risk factor for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), independently from the DR15 allele.
Carriers of the DR15 allele with elevated Anti-EBNA-1 AntiBody Titers may have a markedly increased risk of MS.