Measles virus prevalence in otosclerotic stapes footplate samples

Tamás Karosi, József Kónya, László Z. Szabó, István Sziklai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Hypothesis: The cause of otosclerosis is still unknown. Persistent measles virus infection of the otic capsule is supposed to be one of the etiologic factors in otosclerosis. Chronic viral antigen expression on the surface of infected cells can induce a secondary autoimmune reaction against the otic capsule. Background: In the past 15 years, some reports proposed the possible etiologic role of measles virus in otosclerosis. The presence of measles virus was shown in otosclerotic patients by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction amplification of the viral RNA, detecting the viral proteins by immunohistochemistry and detecting antimeasles immunoglobulin G in the perilymph samples. Many concerns were elicited by these results. Methods: Nucleic acid was extracted from pulverized, frozen stapes footplate samples of otosclerotic patients. Measles virus RNA was amplified by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction: reverse transcription and the first round polymerase chain reaction amplification was performed by heat stable recombinant Thermus thermophilus polymerase, whereas in the nested round, polymerase chain reaction Taq-polymerase was used. Measles virus nucleoprotein RNA-specific oligonucleotide primers were used in these reactions. An Edmonston-type measles virus served as a positive control and cortical bone fragments or stapes superstructures served as negative controls. Results: Among 34 otosclerotic patients, 20 stapes footplate samples contained measles virus RNA. Measles virus RNA was not detected in other bone specimens of the patients. Conclusion: The etiologic role of measles virus in the pathogenesis of otosclerosis should be considered. The 14 negative samples may be genetically determined otosclerotic cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-456
Number of pages6
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2004


  • Measles virus
  • Otosclerosis
  • Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

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