Interesting article about the link between MS relapses and EBV activity. Most have EBV antigens, but people with MS have overactive and enthusiastic ones, which apparently grown and such in a MS relapse. PLease read the full article by clicking on the link - but here's the start of it as a temptation...
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the nearly ubiquitous herpesvirus that can cause infectious mononucleosis (or “mono”), seems inextricably tied to multiple sclerosis. But the nature of this link remains mysterious. Now, a new study published on 11 April in PLoS Pathogens (Angelini et al., 2013) shows that in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), immune responses to active EBV cycle hand in hand with relapse, correlating the virus' activity with MS activity for the first time.
The study examined cytotoxic (CD8+) T cells—immune cells that kill infected or abnormal cells by recognizing specific antigens carried by those cells—and found an increased T cell response to lytic, or active, EBV in the bloodstream of MS patients during disease relapses. The response receded when MS quieted down. Although several different immune cells play a role in responding to viral infections, CD8+ T cells are particularly important in controlling such infections and bind directly to infected, antigen-presenting cells, meaning their response is highly specific to a single viral antigen. These results suggest that viral flare-ups may prompt MS inflammation. Moreover, this correlation could lead to a new blood-based biomarker for MS relapse and points to the possibility that the right antiviral drugs might dampen MS.