Background: Abnormal intrathecal synthesis of IgG, reflected by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) oligoclonal IgG bands (OBs) and increased IgG index, is much less frequently observed in Japanese multiple sclerosis (MS) cohorts compared with Western cohorts. We aimed to clarify whether genetic and common infectious backgrounds influence CSF IgG abnormality in Japanese MS patients. Methodology: We analyzed HLA-DRB1 alleles, and IgG antibodies against Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen (EBNA), and varicella zoster virus (VZV) in 94 patients with MS and 367 unrelated healthy controls (HCs). We defined CSF IgG abnormality as the presence of CSF OBs and/or increased IgG index (.0.658). Principal Findings: CSF IgG abnormality was found in 59 of 94 (62.8%) MS patients. CSF IgG abnormality-positive patients had a significantly higher frequency of brain MRI lesions meeting the Barkhof criteria compared with abnormality-negative patients. Compared with HCs, CSF IgG abnormality-positive MS patients showed a significantly higher frequency of DRB1&1501, whereas CSF IgG abnormality-negative patients had a significantly higher frequency of DRB1&0405. CSF IgG abnormality-positive MS patients had a significantly higher frequency of anti-C. pneumoniae IgG antibodies compared with CSF IgG abnormality-negative MS patients, although there was no difference in the frequency of anti-C. pneumoniae IgG antibodies between HCs and total MS patients. Compared with HCs, anti-H. pylori IgG antibodies were detected significantly less frequently in the total MS patients, especially in CSF IgG abnormality-negative MS patients. The frequencies of antibodies against EBNA and VZV did not differ significantly among the groups. Conclusions: CSF IgG abnormality is associated with Western MS-like brain MRI features. DRB1&1501 and C. pneumoniae infection confer CSF IgG abnormality, while DRB1&0405 and H. pylori infection are positively and negatively associated with CSF IgG abnormality-negative MS, respectively, suggesting that genetic and environmental factors differentially contribute to MS susceptibility according to the CSF IgG abnormality status.
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