Background and purpose
Our objective was to study the association between serum levels of anti Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1) antibody and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in a prospective cohort of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
The study comprised 90 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, all participants in a randomized clinical trial of ω-3 fatty acids (the OFAMS study). Repeated, paired measurements of serum 25(OH)D and serum EBNA-1 immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels were obtained at baseline and every 6 months for 24 months. The association between serum EBNA-1 IgG and serum 25(OH)D levels was analysed using generalized linear models for hierarchical data.
There was a significant variation in EBNA-1 IgG antibody level between sampling months (Fdf 11 = 1.8, P = 0.043, one-way anova). There was a negative association between EBNA-1 IgG and 25(OH)D [B = -0.230, 95% confidence interval (CI) (-0.440, -0.023), P = 0.030] and a positive association between EBNA-1 IgG and HLA-DRB1*15 positive status [B = 94.7, 95% CI (2.423, 186.9), P = 0.044]. The association between 25(OH)D and EBNA-1 IgG remained significant after adjusting for the patient's age, gender, HLA-DRB1*15, retinol levels and interferon β-1a treatment.
Our study demonstrates monthly differences in EBNA-1 IgG levels and an association between EBNA-1 IgG, 25(OH)D levels and HLA-DRB1*15. These results indicate that EBNA-1 IgG serum levels are affected by genetic and environmental factors that also modulate multiple sclerosis risk.
Wergeland S, Myhr KM, Løken-Amsrud KI, Beiske AG, Bjerve KS, Hovdal H, Midgard R, Kvistad SS, Holmøy T, Riise T, Torkildsen Ø. Vitamin D, HLA-DRB1 and Epstein-Barr virus antibody levels in a prospective cohort of multiple sclerosis patients.Eur J Neurol. 2016 Jun;23(6):1064-70