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    Multiple sclerosis: Best evidence to date that the condition is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus

    A large study by US military personnel suggests that almost all cases of multiple sclerosis are caused by the common Epstein-Barr virus.This means that the vaccine can largely eradicate the condition.


    January 13, 2022

    Epstein-Barr virus seen under a microscope

    Mediscan / Alamy

    Has been suspected for a long time Common Epstein-Barr virus It can cause multiple sclerosis (MS). Currently, a survey of 10 million U.S. military personnel shows that they are infected with the virus before almost every case of MS. This finding suggests that a vaccine against Epstein-Barr virus may significantly reduce the incidence of multiple sclerosis.

    “This is really a turning point,” he says. Alberto Asherio At Harvard University. Not only does it lead to a better way to treat MS, he says, it should help prevent it.

    Multiple sclerosis is caused by the immune system attacking the protective sheath that surrounds the nerves, causing symptoms such as difficulty walking and worsening over time.

    Epstein-Barr virus is a type of herpesvirus that spreads primarily through saliva, for example by kissing or drinking from the same glass. This is the cause of mononucleosis and is also known as adenomy. The initial infection, if any, can be negligible, but it is permanently lurking when the virus invades immune cells called B cells. It can rejuvenate and cause problems later in life, Including various cancers..

    The difficulty in proving that the Epstein-Barr virus is the leading cause of MS is that 9 out of 10 people worldwide are infected with MS. This means that scientists need to monitor a huge number of people to see if people who are not infected with the virus are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis.

    Ascherio’s team has found the required number in the form of U.S. military personnel who regularly collect and store blood samples so that they can later be tested for Epstein-Barr infections. “This is pretty unique in the world,” says Ascherio.

    Only 5 percent of recruits were free of Epstein-Barr virus when the first blood sample was taken. Of the 10 million military personnel, 955 developed MS. Usually about 10 years after the first sample was taken.

    However, only one person who developed MS was negative for antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus. The other 34 were uninfected when the first blood sample was taken, but were infected before they were diagnosed with MS.

    “These findings provide compelling data that suggest that the Epstein-Barr virus triggers the development of multiple sclerosis,” said William Robinson and Lawrence Steinman of Stanford University, California. It is written as. Perspective work about research.. “Since the first trigger for multiple sclerosis has been identified, we can probably eradicate multiple sclerosis.”

    Currently, there is no vaccine against the Epstein-Barr virus, but several groups are trying to develop a vaccine. January 5th, Moderna Started testing people’s candidate mRNA vaccine..

    “Ultimately, until we see how prevention of Epstein-Barr infection affects the incidence of multiple sclerosis, it is not possible to confirm that Epstein-Barr virus causes multiple sclerosis. No, “says Clare Walton of the British MS Association.

    It is also possible to find a way to target the virus directly Improve treatment, Ascherio says. “The presence of the virus gives the immune system a lasting stimulus,” he says.

    Indeed, one small exam already shows that Training immune cells called T cells that target the Epstein-Barr virus improved symptoms...

    What is unclear is why very few people infected with the virus develop multiple sclerosis. Less than 1 in 10,000 new employees. “One or more additional factors are needed to cause multiple sclerosis,” says Walton.

    However, it is standard, no exception, that only a small percentage of people infected with the virus experience serious complications, says Ascherio.For example, only a small part of infected people Poliovirus Just as only a small percentage of people infected with the coronavirus are hospitalized, they develop weakness that can cause permanent disability.This may be the cause Genetic factors..

    Journal reference: Chemistry, DOI: 10.1126 / science.abj8222

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    Multiple sclerosis: Best evidence to date that the condition is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus

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    The post Multiple sclerosis: Best evidence to date that the condition is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus appeared first on Eminetra.

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