Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Absence of Epstein-Barr virus in the brain and CSF of patients with multiple sclerosis

Another blank. Sargsyan and colleagues failed to find evidence of persistent infection in the cells that produce antibodies (plasma and B cells) within the brains of people with MS. Only in active MS plaques was EBV-encoded RNA (EBER)-1 rarely detected.

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Conclusion: My take on this is that we need to focus on active and preactive MS lesions; I suspect that is where the action will be. Although the score at the moment is strongly against overt CNS EBV infection being a direct factor in MS pathogenesis we need to keep an open mind to the contrary. Post-mortem tissue studies are not necessarily the best means of investigating the link between active EBV infection within the central nervous system and MS.

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