Oikonen M, Laaksonen M, Laippala P, Oksaranta O, Lilius EM, Lindgren S, Rantio-Lehtimaki A, Anttinen A, Koski K, Eralinna JP.
Aerobiology Unit, University of Turku, Finland.
Infectious viruses and bacteria can trigger multiple sclerosis (MS) exacerbations.
Seasonally changing concentrations of ambient air pollutants are known to predispose to transmissible infections, to induce systemic immune responses and to enhance existing peripheral inflammation.
Ambient air quality and monthly MS relapse occurrence in south-western Finland were compared by multivariate logistic regression.
The odds ratio of the risk of a relapse onset was over fourfold (4.143, p < 0.001) when the concentration of inhalable particulate matter (PM(10)) was at the highest quartile.
Inhalable airborne particulate matter concentrations were connected to relapse occurrence.
Poor air quality may enhance the seasonal changes in MS relapse occurrence by an increased susceptibility to transmissible infections.