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Background: Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) affect the effectiveness of interferon therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis; however, this influence cannot be considered as unequivocal. NAbs formation is determined by several factors, such as frequency and duration of administration, interferon-β (IFN-β) formulation and the patient's genotype. It has been found that NAb titers vary over time. Aim: To assess the levels of NAbs to IFN-β in patients with multiple sclerosis and to investigate their relationship to disease progression. Materials and methods: We analyzed serum samples from 83  multiple sclerosis patients after a  long-term IFN-β-1b treatment; NAbs detection reaction was performed by assessment of their cytopathic effect. Results: NAbs were found in 63.9%  (53  of 83) of patients with dura￾tion of IFN-β-1b treatment of 33.3±17.6 months. All NAb-positive patients were treated with high￾dose IFN-β. Patients with titers>800  LU (n=28) demonstrated a  trend towards more advanced neurologic deficit on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), compared to the patients with normal NAbs titers (0  to 20  LU, n=30) and intermediate titers (20 to 800 LU, n=25) (p>0.05). The exacerbation rate in the group with NAbs titers from 20  to 800  LU was insignificantly lower than that in the group with NAbs>800 and in the NAb-negative patients (p>0.05). Conclusion: Testing for NAbs may be a promising method for monitoring of IFN-β therapy in multiple sclerosis. There was a trend towards more pronounced neurological deficit in patients with high NAbs titers, but paradoxical data on a high rate of exacerbations in NAb-negative patients requires further study. 

About the authors

V. Yu. Lizhdvoy

Moscow Regional Research and Clinical Institute (MONIKI)

Author for correspondence.

MD, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Neurology

61/2–10 Shchepkina ul., Moscow, 129110

Tel.: +7 (495) 684 57 38

Russian Federation

T. P. Ospel'nikova

N.F. Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology


MD, Senior Research Fellow, Laboratory of Interferonogenesis

18 Gamalei ul., Moscow, 123098

Russian Federation

S. V. Kotov

Moscow Regional Research and Clinical Institute (MONIKI)


MD, PhD, Professor; Head of Department of Neurology; Head of Chair of Neurology, Postgraduate Training Faculty

61/2 Shchepkina ul., Moscow, 129110

Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2016 Lizhdvoy V.Y., Ospel'nikova T.P., Kotov S.V.

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