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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 5297980, 10 pages
Research Article

JC Virus-DNA Detection Is Associated with CD8 Effector Accumulation in Peripheral Blood of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis under Natalizumab Treatment, Independently from JC Virus Serostatus

1Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
2National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani, IRCCS, Rome, Italy
3Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Multiple Sclerosis Center, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
4Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Biotechnology, Neurovascular Diagnosis Unit, Section of Neurology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Marco Iannetta

Received 17 September 2017; Accepted 29 January 2018; Published 27 February 2018

Academic Editor: Robert Movérare

Copyright © 2018 Maria A. Zingaropoli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although natalizumab (anti-α4 integrin) represents an effective therapy for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), it is associated with an increased risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), caused by the polyomavirus JC (JCV). The aim of this study was to explore natalizumab-induced phenotypic changes in peripheral blood T-lymphocytes and their relationship with JCV reactivation. Forty-four patients affected by RRMS were enrolled. Blood and urine samples were classified according to natalizumab infusion number: 0 (0), 1–12 (12), 13–24 (24), 25–36 (36), and over 36 () infusions. JCV-DNA was detected in plasma and urine. T-lymphocyte phenotype was evaluated with flow cytometry. JCV serostatus was assessed. Ten healthy donors (HD), whose ages and sexes matched with the RRMS patients of the 0 group, were enrolled. CD8 effector (CD8 E) percentages were increased in natalizumab treated patients with detectable JCV-DNA in plasma or urine compared to JCV-DNA negative patients (JCV−) ( and , resp.). Patients with CD8 E percentages above 10.4% tended to show detectable JCV-DNA in plasma and/or urine (ROC curve ). The CD8 E was increased when JCV-DNA was detectable in plasma or urine, independently from JCV serology, for 12 and 24 groups (). As long as PML can affect RRMS patients under natalizumab treatment with a negative JCV serology, the assessment of CD8 E could help in the evaluation of JCV reactivation.