Scientists at the University of Granada have completed a study that reveals a possible relationship between a virus from the herpes family and the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).
While there is no known cause for patients with MS, the condition may have a genetic vulnerability to certain environmental factors, such as the Epstein-Barr virus. The virus –- belonging to the herpes family, which also includes the herpes simplex virus and the cytomegalo virus –- is one of the environmental factors that might cause MS. Researchers analyzed antibody levels that are produced within the central nervous system and could be directly involved in the development of MS.
While some studies have tried to elucidate whether infection with the Epstein-Barr virus could be considered a risk factor in MS, University of Granada researchers conducted a meta-analysis of observational studies including cases and controls, aimed at establishing such association.
In a sample of 76 healthy individuals and 75 patients with MS, researchers sought a pattern that would show an association between the virus and MS. A statistically significant association was found between viral infection and MS starting from the detection of markers that indicate an infection in the past, while markers that indicate recent infection or reactivation are not relevant.
Research was conducted by Olivia del Carmen Santiago Puertas at the Department of Microbiology, University of Granada, and coordinated by professors José Gutiérrez Fernández, Antonio Sorlózano Puerto, and Óscar Fernández Fernández.
[Source: Cordis Wire]