Absence of antibody to HTLV I and III in Sera of Canadian patients with multiple sclerosis and chronic myelopathy

Authors

  • Dr G. P. A. Rice MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, University of Western Ontario, University Hospital, London, Ontario
    • CNS Department, University Hospital, PO Box 5339, Postal Station A, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5A5
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  • H. A. Armstrong BS,

    1. Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, University of Western Ontario, University Hospital, London, Ontario
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  • D. E. Bulman BS,

    1. Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, University of Western Ontario, University Hospital, London, Ontario
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  • D. W. Paty MD,

    1. Division of Neurology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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  • G. C. Ebers MD

    1. Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, University of Western Ontario, University Hospital, London, Ontario
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Abstract

Recently, elevated titers of antibody to HTLV I have been demonstrated in patients with tropical spastic paraparesis and multiple sclerosis. We evaluated the possible role of human retroviruses HTLV I and III in Canadian patients with multiple sclerosis and chronic idiopathic myelopathy. Using sensitive enzyme immunoassays, we were unable to find antibody to either HTLV I or III in 201 patients with multiple sclerosis, 29 patients with chronic myelopathy, 51 patients with other neurological disorders, or 29 normal subjects. These data do not support a role for these viruses in the cause of sporadic multiple sclerosis and chronic myelopathy in a regionally based Canadian population, but do not exclude a role for other antigenically distinct retroviruses.

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