EpsteinBarr virus (EBV) Link to MS Vaccine possible

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by darude, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. darude

    darude New Member

    MedPage Today Action Points

    Advise patients who ask that the etiology of multiple sclerosis is unknown, but has been associated with a heightened antibody response to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

    Note that this study shows that high antibody levels to EBV occur many years before the onset of MS, suggesting it is an early event in the pathogenesis of the disease.


    Gerald DeLorenze, Ph.D.
    Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
    OAKLAND, Calif., April 11 - A powerful antibody response to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may predispose people to develop multiple sclerosis years later, according to researchers.

    The risk of developing multiple sclerosis doubles for every four-fold increase in antibodies to EBV, Gerald DeLorenze, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research here, reported in the April 10 online issue of Archives of Neurology.

    EBV, the widely disseminated herpesvirus that is the primary agent of infectious mononucleosisis, is spread by intimate contact between susceptible persons and asymptomatic EBV shedders. The majority of primary EBV infections are subclinical. Approximately 90% to 95% of adults are EBV-seropositive.

    It has been known for several years, Dr. DeLorenze said in an interview, that elevated antibody responses to EBV occur in patients who go on to develop MS, "but it was not clear whether the increases in antibody titers to Epstein-Barr were prior to developing MS or were a consequence of the development of MS, with its heightened immune activity."

    In fact, Dr. DeLorenze said, "the elevation does precede the MS," often by decades.

    Dr. DeLorenze and colleagues reported a prospective case-control study -- using a long-standing database that included blood samples taken between 1965 and 1974 -- that aimed to try to clear up the link between EBV and MS.

    "Our study," Dr. DeLorenze said, "had the potential for blood samples to be collected up to 34 years before the onset of first MS symptoms." In one case, he said, a blood sample taken 32 years before a patient developed MS showed high levels of EBV antibodies.

    By contrast, he said, earlier studies that highlighted the link between the two illnesses - such as the Nurses' Health Study - had short follow-up periods of only a few years on average.

    Kaiser Permanente has maintained medical records of all health plan members who provided blood samples and who were members for all or some of the time between giving the sample and 1999, for a maximum possible follow-up of 34 years, Dr. DeLorenze said.

    From those records, he and colleagues found 42 confirmed cases of MS. For each case, the researchers selected three controls, matched by age at the time of blood collection, by sex, and by date of blood collection. The blood samples were analyzed for levels of antibodies to Epstein-Barr Nuclear Antigen (EBNA) and one of its components, EBNA-1.

    Analysis showed:

    The median age at onset of MS was 45 and the median time between baseline blood collection and onset of MS was 15 years.
    For every four-fold increase in antibodies to EBNA, the relative risk of MS doubled. The hazard ratio was 2.1, with a 95% confidence interval from 1.1 to 3.8.
    For every four-fold increase in antibodies to EBNA-1, the risk of MS also rose. The hazard ratio was 1.8, with a 95% confidence interval from 1.1 to 2.9.

    The implication, Dr. DeLorenze said, is that a heightened antibody response to EBV is probably an early event in the pathogenesis of MS, although exactly what happens is not yet clear. One possibility, he said, is that the active immune response to EBV creates a T-cell response that cross-reacts with myelin antigens, kick-starting the degradation of myelin that is characteristic of MS.

    Also, he said, it is known that EBV infects B-lymphocytes, which might also lead to an auto-immune response.

    The central clinical message of the study, he said, is the hope that better understanding of the etiology of MS will lead to better treatments. "Now we want to throw it back to the basic scientists and say, find the mechanism," he said.

    He suggested that vaccines against EBV, which affects about 90% of the adult population, might also be a valuable tool.

  2. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    Great article, I'll keep an eye on this for sure!

  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thank you so much for posting this. There are studies which are attempting to link EBV to cancer as well. I watched a show on the Bubble Boy on PBS. He died after receiving a bone marrow transplant from his mother. She had a "latent virus" in her body which wasn't identified in the program. Since most Herpes Viruses do lie inactive in our bodies but can reactivate even decades later, I had to wonder whether it was EBV which killed the little boy. His autopsy showed he was full of cancer and that was the first time scientists connected cancer to viruses. Since he had no immune system of his own, it was easy for the cancer to take over.

    I think these kinds of articles and shows really make the case for our not donating blood nor tissue of any kind. People receiving organs and other transplanted tissue are given meds to depress their immune systems. Studies show that those of us with these illnesses have a high level of infections. It often takes PCR DNA to find these pathogens and I doubt that is done on donated tissue. Just recently, tissue was being illegally taken from cadavers without knowledge nor permission of next of kin. Some of the tissue may have come from people with AIDS. All the recipients are now having to be tested for the rest of their lives. I know the blood banks do not test for the kinds of pathogens which are common in people with our illnesses.

    Again, thanks so much for this info.

    Love, Mikie
  4. darude

    darude New Member

    This is very interesting and at least they are THINKING about a vaccine.
  5. darude

    darude New Member

    will read thanks
  6. findmind

    findmind New Member

    Thanks for posting this...I got it in email this a.m. also...Very interesting, as I have very high EBV and mycoplasmas (3 of them), and my 18 y.o granddau. was dx'd with "chronic EBV" 3 yrs ago, hasn't gone to school since!

    See also prickles post today!

    I don't know how to cut n paste, so you beat me to posting that article, you great thing you!

  7. darude

    darude New Member

    In mail today!
  8. findmind

    findmind New Member

    What more info...where???

  9. darude

    darude New Member

    Will post on here and seperate
  10. darude

    darude New Member

    Virus linked to multiple sclerosis

    Tuesday 11 April 2006, 4
    Hereditary and environmental factors play a role in

    Young adults, whose immune systems react strongly when exposed to a common virus, may run a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life, a new report has revealed.

    While three other studies have linked the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) - which often causes mononucleosis - to multiple sclerosis, the new findings provide stronger evidence of a connection, said the report released on Monday.

    The study, which was conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, involved individuals with multiple sclerosis who had given blood samples earlier in life when they were about 32 years of age.

    The samples, which had been stored at cold temperatures, were compared to those of others in the same health plan that did not have the disease.

    The researchers found that the levels of anti-EBV antibodies in the blood of the MS patients collected 15 years earlier were significantly higher than the levels in those who did not go on to develop the disease.

    Antibodies are proteins produced by the body to fight infections.

    The study said that perhaps 96% of Americans have been exposed to the virus by the time they reach age 40.

    Hereditary and environmental factors are believed to play a role in MS, a chronic degenerative disease in which the body attacks its own central nervous system and that can cause paralysis.

    "Collectively, the results of this and the previous studies provide compelling evidence that infection with (the virus) is a risk factor in the development of MS"

    Alberto Ascherio, Associate Professor at Harvard School of Public Health

    Hope for treatment

    "Collectively, the results of this and the previous studies provide compelling evidence that infection with (the virus) is a risk factor in the development of MS," said Alberto Ascherio, a senior author of the study and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

    The report was published in the Archives of Neurology.

    "Discovering strong risk factors is ... an important initial step in finding ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent MS," Ascherio said.

    "A focused multi-disciplinary effort is now needed to complete the puzzle and thus open the door to new therapeutic approaches."


  11. darude

    darude New Member

    for moon

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