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Cerebrospinal fluid in a small cohort of patients with multiple sclerosis was generally free of microbial DNA

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common cause of non-traumatic neurologic disability with
    high incidence in many developed countries. Although the etiology of the disease
    remains elusive, it is thought to entail genetic and environmental causes, and microbial
    pathogens have also been envisioned as contributors to the phenotype. We conducted
    a metagenomic survey in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 28 MS patients and 15 patients
    suffering other type of neurological conditions. We detected bacterial reads in eight out
    of the 15 non-MS patients and in a single MS patient, at an abundance >1% of total
    classified reads. Two patients were of special interest: one non-MS patient harbored
    ∼73% bacterial reads, while an MS patient had ∼83% bacterial reads. In the former
    case, Veillonella parvula, a bacterium occasionally found associated with meningitis was
    the predominant species, whilst Kocuria flava, apparently an environmental bacterium,
    predominated in the latter case. Thirty-four out of 43 samples contained <1%
    bacterial reads, which we regard as cross- or environmental contamination. A few viral
    reads corresponding to Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and parvovirus were also
    identified. Our results suggest that CSF of MS patients is often (but not always) free of
    microbial DNA.

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  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
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  • License
    Attribution 4.0 International