More MS news articles for Dec 2001

Multiple sclerosis and varicella zoster virus infection: A review

Epidemiology and Infection (2001), 127:315-325 Cambridge University Press
R. A. MARRIE a1 and C. WOLFSON a2 c1
a1 Montreal Neurological Institute 3801 rue Universite, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2B4
a2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University and Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Chemin de la Cote Ste Catherine, Montreal, Quebec, H3T 1E2


We have evaluated the epidemiological evidence for an aetiological role of varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).

A MEDLINE search of the English language literature for 196599 identified 40 studies.

These studies were categorized as seroepidemiological (13), case-control (23), historical cohort (2) or ecological (2).

One study used both case-control and historical cohort methodologies.

Studies were then classified according to methodological rigour, using criteria derived from published guidelines for the epidemiological study of MS.

There was a large variability in the quality of evidence.

The five studies with the best methodology failed to show an increased risk of MS associated with varicella or zoster infections.

At the present time there is insufficient evidence to support an important aetiological role of VZV infection in the development of MS.

Copyright © 2001 Cambridge University Press