Viral metagenomics in drug-naïve, first-onset schizophrenia patients with prominent negative symptoms. - PubMed - NCBI

Although several studies suggest a virus or (endogenous) retrovirus involvement at the time of onset of schizophrenia, the unequivocal identification of one or more infectious agents, by means of an undirected catch-all technique, has never been conducted. In this study VIDISCA, a virusdiscovery method, was used in combination with Roche-454 high-throughput sequencing as a tool to determine the possible presence of viruses (known or unknown) in blood of first-onset drugs-naïve schizophrenic patients with prominent negative symptoms. Two viruses (the Anellovirus Torque Teno virus and GB virus C) were detected. Both viruses are commonly found in healthy individuals and no clear link with disease was ever established. Viruses from the family Anelloviridae were also identified in the control population (4.8%). Besides, one patient sample was positive for human endogenous retroviruses type K (HML-2) RNA but no specific predominant strain was detected, instead 119 different variants were found. In conclusion, these findings indicate no evidence for viral or endogenous retroviral involvement in sera at the time of onset of schizophrenia.

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