All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for November 2002

Human herpesvirus 6 and Chlamydia pneumoniae as etiologic agents in multiple sclerosis - a critical review

Microbes Infect 2002 Nov;4(13):1327-33
Swanborg RH, Whittum-Hudson JA, Hudson AP.
Departments Immunology and Microbiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Gordon H. Scott Hall, 540 East Canfield Avenue, 48201, Detroit, MI, USA

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought by many investigators to have an infectious component, and several microorganisms have been associated with the disease during the last three decades.

Recent studies have implicated both human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and the obligate intracellular bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae in the etiology of MS.

As with earlier studies of other potential agents, however, evidence linking either of these organisms to the disease is equivocal.

In this article, we review data for and against involvement of HHV-6 and C. pneumoniae in MS, as well as evidence concerning auxiliary factors, such as possession of the APOE epsilon4 allele, which may influence the role of these organisms in pathogenesis.

Further, we suggest several lines of investigation that should clarify whether either or both pathogens are associated meaningfully with this disease.