HSV presence in brains of individuals without dementia: the TASTY brain series

Jan Olsson, Hugo Lövheim, Emma Honkala, Pekka J Karhunen, Elgh Fik, Eloise Kok

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 affects a majority of the population and recent evidence suggests involvement in Alzheimer's disease aetiology. We investigated the prevalence of HSV type 1 and 2 in the Tampere Autopsy Study (TASTY) brain samples using PCR and sero-positivity in plasma, and associations with Alzheimer's disease neuropathology. HSV was shown to be present in human brain tissue in 11/584 (1.9%) of samples in the TASTY cohort, of which six had Alzheimer's disease neuropathological amyloid beta (Aβ) aggregations. Additionally, serological data revealed 86% of serum samples tested were IgG-positive for HSV. In conclusion, we report epidemiological evidence of the presence of HSV in brain tissue free from encephalitis symptoms in a cohort most closely representing the general population (a minimum prevalence of 1.9%). Whereas 6/11 samples with HSV DNA in the brain tissue had Aβ aggregations, most of those with Aβ aggregations did not have HSV present in the brain tissue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1349-1355
    Number of pages7
    JournalDisease Models & Mechanisms
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Adult
    • Aged
    • Aged, 80 and over
    • Amyloid beta-Peptides/metabolism
    • Brain/pathology
    • Cohort Studies
    • DNA, Viral/blood
    • Dementia/blood
    • Female
    • Herpesvirus 1, Human/physiology
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Polymerase Chain Reaction

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1


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