Iranian Journal of Microbiology 2017. 9(2):112-118.

No molecular evidence of Borna disease virus among schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients in Iran
Somayeh Shatizadeh-Malekshahi, Hamid Reza Ahmadkhaniha, Seyed Jalal Kiani, Ahmad Nejati, Leila Janani, Jila Yavarian


Background and Objectives: Viruses have been suggested as one of the risk factors for psychiatric disorders. Among infectious agents Borna disease virus (BDV) has been known as a neurotropic virus which is able to cause neurological disorders in different animals. Recently there were controversial findings about BDV association with pathogenesis of human psychotic disorders.
Materials and Methods: Here we performed a nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for detection of BDV P40 RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples of schizophrenia (SC), bipolar disorder (BD) patients and healthy controls (HCs).
Results: Only one out of 120 (0.8 %) psychiatric patients and two samples (2.7%) in 75 HCs showed positive results. There were no significant molecular evidence of BDV infection in 120 psychotic patients (60 SC and 60 BD) and 75 matched HCs.
Conclusion: Our findings showed no association between BDV infection and pathogenesis of these psychiatric disorders. This is an interesting issue given both the as yet un-clarified role of BDV in human mental disorders and addressing patients in the so far under-investigating Middle East era.


Bipolar disorder; Borna disease virus; Iran; Nested RT-PCR; Schizophrenia

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