The "hygiene hypothesis" postulates an inverse relationship between the prevalence of parasitic infections and the frequency of multiple sclerosis (MS). Objective: It was to study whether antibodies against parasites could be demonstrated more frequently in blood serum from MS patients with oligoclonal bands (OCB) than from MS patients without OCB. Methods: We studied serum samples from 164 patients who had previously been analyzed to investigate OCB. Parasitic antibodies were studied through unidimensional electrophoresis of proteins on polyacrylamide gel against Taenia antigens, searching for antiparasitic specific low molecular weight antibodies and also for antiparasitic nonspecific high molecular weight antibodies. Results: Two of the 103 patients with no evidence of OCB had antibodies of low molecular weight and 59 of them had antibodies of high molecular weight. Of the 61 patients with evidence of OCB, one showed antibodies of low molecular weight and 16 showed antibodies of high molecular weight. Conclusion: Antiparasitic antibodies are detected with similar frequency in MS patients with OCB and in MS patients without OCB.
hygiene hypothesis; multiple sclerosis; oligoclonal bands; Taenia antigens; antiparasitic antibodies