Previous studies have shown that schizophrenics and those with mood disorders have higher levels of Borna Disease Virus (BDV) RNA and anti-BDV antibodies. The researchers in this study aimed to determine the relationship between infection with Borna Disease Virus (BDV) and schizophrenia and other mood disorders, with respect to symptom subtypes and clinical time course. 32 schizophrenics and 33 mood disorder patients were tested against 25 controls. Serum was collected from the patients, and Western Blots were used to detect anti-BDV-p10 (nucleoprotein fusion proteins) antibodies.
The study found a statistically significant correlation with the levels of anti-BDV antibodies and the mood disorder patients, but the study found no significant correlations in the case with schizophrenia. A significant relationship was found, however, between BDV antibody levels and the type of schizophrenia (“productive” or positive, against “deficit” or negative). The study also found a similar relationship between antibody levels and bipolar versus unipolar mood disorders.
The results of the study suggest further investigation into the correlation between BDV infection and mental illness, and to especially take clinical subtypes into consideration.