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More MS news articles for May 2003

Chlamydia pneumoniae and HHV-6 are not yet proven to be involved

May 22, 2003

The proposed bacterial and viral components of multiple sclerosis are yet to be resolved satisfactorily.

"A good deal of evidence suggests an infectious component in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), and to date, some 20 bacteria and viruses have been associated with the disease.

"Recent independent sets of studies have implicated the respiratory bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae and human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) in the pathogenesis of MS," scientists writing in the Journal of Neuroimmunology report.

"However, as is the case for essentially all earlier microbial associations, experimental evidence linking either this bacterium or this virus to MS is equivocal.

"We review the published reports concerning involvement of C. pneumoniae and HHV-6 in MS, and data relating to possession of the APOE epsilon4 allele, which some studies indicate might influence how these or other pathogens affect disease genesis," wrote R.H. Swanborg and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "Based on the large set of inconsistent observations available and given important new information regarding the neuropathology of MS, we contend that no conclusion is possible at this point regarding the potential role of either C. pneumoniae or HHV-6 in MS.

"We therefore propose future studies that should clarify whether, and if so, how these and other organisms function in the pathogenesis of this disease."

Swanborg and coauthors published their study in Journal of Neuroimmunology (Infectious agents and multiple sclerosis-are Chlamydia pneumoniae and human herpes virus 6 involved? J Neuroimmunol, 2003;136(1-2):1-8).

Additional information can be obtained by contacting A.P. Hudson, Wayne State University, School of Medicine, Dept Immunology & Microbiology, Gordon H Scott Hall, 540 E Canfield Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

The publisher of the Journal of Neuroimmunology can be contacted at: Elsevier Science BV, PO Box 211, 1000 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The information in this article comes under the major subject areas of Bacteriology, Neurology, Immunology and Virology. This article was prepared by Immunotherapy Weekly editors from staff and other reports.

Copyright © 2003, Immunotherapy Weekly