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Borna Disease Virus – reactive antibodies in Polish psychiatric patients

Filip Rybakowski, Takashi Sawada, Kazunari Yamaguchi, Andrzej Rajewski, Janusz Rybakowski

Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(9): CR642-646

ID: 13284

Background: It has been proposed that the Borna Disease Virus (BDV) plays a role in the etiopathogenesis of psychiatric disorders. We assessed BDV seropositivity in Polish psychiatric patients and
healthy controls, and the relationship between seropositivity and selected diagnostic and clinical variables.
Material/Methods: Serum samples from 946 psychiatric patients with different diagnoses (ICD-10) and 407 psychiatrically healthy controls were assayed. The ECLIA method was used, which enables the
assessment of two anti-BDV antibodies: anti-p24 and anti p-40. Data were also collected on diagnosis, age, age at onset, and place of residence.
Results: Only anti-p24 antibodies were found. The seropositivity rates were: 2.4% and 1.0%, respectively, in patients and controls (p=0.1). A significant difference between patients and controls was observed in mental retardation and affective-anxiety spectrum disorders. Seropositivity did not show any association with demographic variables, but it was elevated in patients with recent onset of disease vs. remote onset of disease (10.2% vs. 1.6%; p=0.0003).
Conclusions: Significantly higher anti-BDV seropositivity was found in Polish psychiatric patients with affective-anxiety spectrum disorders and mental retardation than in controls. The association
between recent onset disorders and higher anti-BDV response, in the light of recent reports on circulating immune complexes of BDV antigens and antibodies, warrants further studies on the longitudinal course of humoral response to BDV.

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