Detection of borna disease virus-reactive antibodies from patients with psychiatric disorders & from horses by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay

The prevalence of Borna disease virus (BDV)-specific
antibodies among patients with psychiatric disorders and
healthy individuals has varied in several reports using
several different serological assay methods. A reliable and
specific method for anti-BDV antibodies needs to be developed
to clarify the pathological significance of BDV infections in

We developed a new electrochemiluminescence
immunoassay (ECLIA) for the antibody to BDV that uses two
recombinant proteins of BDV, p40 and p24 (full length). Using
this ECLIA, we examined 3,476 serum samples from humans with
various diseases and 917 sera from blood donors in Japan for
the presence of anti-BDV antibodies. By ECLIA, 26 (3.08%) of
845 schizophrenia patients and 9 (3.59%) of 251 patients with
mood disorders were seropositive for BDV. Among 323 patients
with other psychiatric diseases, 114 with neurological
diseases, 75 with chronic fatigue syndrome, 85 human
immunodeficiency virus-infected patients, 50 with autoimmune
diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus
erythematosis and 17 with leprosy, there was no positive case
except one case each with alcohol addiction, AIDS, and
dementia. Although 19 (1.36%) of 1,393 patients with various
ocular diseases, 10 (1.09%) of 917 blood donors, and 3 (4.55%)
of 66 multitransfused patients were seropositive for
BDV-specific antigen, high levels of seroprevalence in
schizophrenia patients and young patients (16 to 59 years old)
with mood disorders were statistically significant.

The immunoreactivity of seropositive sera could be verified for
specificity by blocking with soluble p40 and/or p24
recombinant protein. Anti-p24 antibody was more frequent than
p40 antibody in most cases, and in some psychotic patients
antibody profiles showed only p40 antibody. Although serum
positive for both p40 and p24 antibodies was not found in this
study, the p40 ECLIA count in schizophrenia patients was
higher than that of blood donors. Furthermore, we examined 90
sera from Japanese feral horses. Antibody profiles of control
human samples are similar to that of naturally BDV-infected
feral horses. We concluded that BDV infection was associated
in some way with psychiatric disorders.

Yamaguchi K, Sawada T, Naraki T, Igata-Yi R, Shiraki H, Horii Y, Ishii T, Ikeda K, Asou N, Okabe H, Mochizuki M, Takahashi K, Yamada S, Kubo K, Yashiki S, Waltrip RW 2nd, Carbone KM

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