Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Mamoun Ahram, Ammar El-Omar, Yacoub Baho


Introduction: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating neurological disease. Although it is considered an autoimmune, the exact etiology of MS has yet to be identified. MS is hypothesized to be caused by infectious agents that initiate an autoimmune reaction and/or death of oligodendrocytes. These latter events result in gradual disappearance of the myelin sheath of nerve fibers causing multiple symptoms and, ultimately, neurological deficit. Among the infectious agents linked to MS is Chlamydia pneumoniae. This agent has been found in various studies to be prevalent in MS patients compared to control individuals.

Objectives: In this study, we investigated the presence of C. pneumoniae in sera and cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) of MS patients.

Methods: Serum and CSF were obtained form 36 MS patients and 37 control donors, including healthy donors and patients with other neurological diseases. In order to increase the sensitivity of detection, nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was utilized.

Results: Although multiple protocols of DNA extraction and PCR procedures were utilized, C. pneumoniae DNA was not evident in all samples of MS patients. On the other hand, amplified DNA of C. pneumoniae was inconsistently detected in serum samples in only three control individuals.

Conclusions: These results suggest lack of apparent association of C. pneumoniae to MS.

Abbreviations: MS, multiple sclerosis; CSF, cerebrospinal fluid; MOMP, major outer membrane protein.


Multiple sclerosis, Chlamydia pneumoniae, nested PCR.

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