Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Psychiatry and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research article

Borna disease virus (BDV) circulating immunocomplex positivity in addicted patients in the Czech Republic: a prospective cohort analysis

Sylva Rackova1*, Lubos Janu1 and Hana Kabickova2

Author affiliations

1 Psychiatric Department, University Hospital, Medical Faculty Charles University in Pilsen, Alej svobody 80, Pilsen, 301 00, Czech Republic

2 Klinlab s.r.o, Department of Molecular Biology and Parasitology, U Vojenské nemocnice 1200, Prague, 100 00, Czech Republic

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Psychiatry 2010, 10:70  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-10-70

Published: 8 September 2010



Borna disease virus (BDV) is an RNA virus belonging to the family Bornaviridae. Borna disease virus is a neurotropic virus that causes changes in mood, behaviour and cognition. BDV causes persistent infection of the central nervous system. Immune changes lead to activation of infection. Alcohol and drug dependence are associated with immune impairment.


We examined the seropositivity of BDV circulating immunocomplexes (CIC) in patients with alcohol and drug dependence and healthy individuals (blood donors). We examined 41 addicted patients for the presence of BDV CIC in the serum by ELISA at the beginning of detoxification, and after eight weeks of abstinence. This is the first such study performed in patients with alcohol and drug dependence.


BDV CIC positivity was detected in 36.59% of addicted patients on day 0 and in 42.86% on day 56. The control group was 37.3% positive. However, we did not detect higher BDV CIC positivity in addicted patients in comparison with blood donors (p = 0.179). The significantly higher level of BDV CIC was associated with lower levels of GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) (p = 0.027) and approached statistical significance with the lower age of addicted patients (p = 0.064). We did not find any association between BDV CIC positivity and other anamnestic and demographic characteristics.


In our study addicted patients did not have significantly higher levels of BDV CIC than the control group. The highest levels of BDV CIC were detected in patients with lower levels of GGT and a lower age.

Trial registration

This study was approved by the ethical committee of the University Hospital Medical Faculty of Charles University in Pilsen, Czech Republic (registration number 303/2001).