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Disease Markers
Volume 16 (2000), Issue 3-4, Pages 101-104

Association between the Endogenous Retrovirus HRES-1 and Multiple Sclerosis in the United Kingdom – Evidence of Genetically Different Disease Subsets?

H. B. Rasmussen,1 M. A. Kelly,2 D. A. Francis,3 and J. Clausen1

1Department of Life Sciences and Chemistry, Roskilde University, PO Box 260, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
3Queen Elizabeth Neurosciences Centre, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK

Received 1 May 2000; Accepted 28 June 2000

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


In the present study we determined the frequencies of four haplotypes of the human T-cell lymphotropic virus-related endogenous sequence, HRES-1, in 110 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and 100 healthy control subjects from the United Kingdom. We found evidence of an association between this endogenous retrovirus and MS (p < 0.01), in particular reflecting an increased frequency of HRES-1 haplotype 1 in the group of patients. There was no significant difference in the distribution of HRES-1 haplotypes between relapsing-remitting MS and the primary progressive form of the disease. The odds ratio for HRES-1 haplotype 1 and MS did not differ significantly between individuals positive for HLA-DR2 and DR2-negative individuals. Comparison of the observations from the present study with previous results implicated HRES-1 as a marker of genetic heterogeneity in MS.