Measles virus nucleotide sequences: detection by hybridization in situ

Science  08 May 1981:
Vol. 212, Issue 4495, pp. 672-675
DOI: 10.1126/science.7221554


A tritium-labeled probe that detects measles virus nucleotide sequences was hybridized in situ to cells infected with measles virus and to sections of brain tissue from patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and from patients with multiple sclerosis. The measles virus genome was detected in many cells in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis where this virus would have been missed by methods such as immunofluorescence. Measles virus sequences were also found in two foci in one of four cases of multiple sclerosis. This refined method of hybridization in situ, which can be useful in the search for covert virus infections of man, provides evidence that viruses may be involved in multiple sclerosis.