An Inquiry into the Possible Association between Multiple Sclerosis and Human Herpes Virus 6

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My project tests viral quantities in M.S. patients at different times of remission and relapse using quantitative Real-time PCR. There is current debate among scientists on the role of Human Herpes Virus 6 in association with Multiple Sclerosis. Some researchers believe that the virus plays a role in co-triggering the disease, while others believe that the virus is solely an opportunistic agent. Still other scientists believe that there is no connection at all.Therefore, by testing viral quantities at different stages of the disease, I am able to investigate these current theories. My hypothesis is that if the virus plays a role in the etiology of the disease, there will be an increase of virus before relapse. However, if the virus is an opportunistic agent, there will be a viral increase after relapse. Or it might show no correlation between the two. To test this possible association between Human Herpes Virus 6 and Multiple Sclerosis, I drew blood samples from M.S. patients over the course of two months. Blood draws were done at various stages of the disease. I extracted the DNA from the blood samples. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed on the eluted DNA. The results showed no presence of the virus. Further experiments are needed to verify the validity of the real-time PCR.


Roberta Pollock




The Paul K. and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Trust

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