June 11, 2013

Ah, that old devil Epstein-Barr...

http://www.msdiscovery.org/news/new_findings/6069-ebb-and-flow-ebv

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.

2 comments:

Mary Gerdt said...

I had a terrible case of mono at age 19. Still think it could be a culprit. Thanks and have a great day!

awb said...

I had a very bad case of mono when I was 9, so did my cousin, we both now are in the ms club.

awb