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The association between human endogenous retroviruses and multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Morandi, Elena; Tanasescu, Radu; Tarlinton, Rachael E.; Constantinescu, Cris S.; Zhang, Weiya; Tench, Christopher R.; Gran, Bruno


Elena Morandi

Radu Tanasescu

Cris S. Constantinescu

Bruno Gran


Klemens Ruprecht


The interaction between genetic and environmental factors is crucial to multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis. Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) are endogenous viral elements of the human genome whose expression is associated with MS.
To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis and to assess qualitative and quantitative evidence on the expression of HERV families in MS patients.
Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library were searched for published studies on the association of HERVs and MS. Meta-analysis was performed on the HERV-W family. Odds Ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated for association.
43 reports were extracted (25 related to HERV-W, 13 to HERV-H, 9 to HERV-K, 5 to HRES-1 and 1 to HER-15 family). The analysis showed an association between expression of all HERV families and MS. For HERV-W, adequate data was available for meta-analysis. Results from meta-analyses of HERV-W were OR = 22.66 (95%CI 6.32 to 81.20) from 4 studies investigating MSRV/HERV-W(MS-associated retrovirus) envelope mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, OR = 44.11 (95%CI 12.95 to 150.30) from 6 studies of MSRV/ HERV-W polymerase mRNA in serum/plasma and OR = 6.00 (95%CI 3.35 to 10.74) from 4 studies of MSRV/HERV-W polymerase mRNA in CSF.


Morandi, E., Tanasescu, R., Tarlinton, R. E., Constantinescu, C. S., Zhang, W., Tench, C. R., & Gran, B. (2017). The association between human endogenous retroviruses and multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 12(2), Article e0172415.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 16, 2017
Publication Date Feb 16, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 17, 2017
Journal PLoS ONE
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 2
Article Number e0172415
Public URL
Publisher URL


Morandi et al 2017.pdf (867 Kb)

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