Illustration du virus EBV. © Kateryna_Kon, Adobe Stock

It appears that a very common virus causes multiple sclerosis

A virus that infects 90% of people appears to be the cause of multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain. This is the conclusion of a recent study published in ScienceHe was the first to provide strong evidence for a causal relationship between viral infection and multiple sclerosis.

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For years, scientists have been collecting clues that a virus Very common, Epstein-Barr (EBV) is believed to be the primary cause of Multiple SclerosisAn autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system. About 90% of the world’s population is infected with EBV, often duringChildhood or theAdolescence. On the other hand, the hardening en plaque concerns only 100,000 young people in France with approximately 5,000 new cases each year.

Article published on January 13, 2022 in Science He was the first to provide evidence Solid There is a causal relationship between infection with EBV and the emergence of Multiple Sclerosis. « This is a big step forward because it suggests that most cases of multiple sclerosis can be prevented by preventing EBV infection, and targeting EBV could lead to the discovery of a cure for sclerosis. ‘,” explains Alberto Ashrio, a Harvard University scientist and director of the work published in Science.

New results added to the old

This study was made possible thanks to the rich collection of blood samples from the US Army. Thus, the researchers were able to obtain blood samples from 10 million young soldiers on duty, taken between 1993 and 2013. Among them, 955 cases of multiple sclerosis were diagnosed. All but one was antibody The fight against EBV in Serum in their time Diagnosis.

From this data, the researchers estimated that individuals with EBV are 32 times more likely to develop multiple sclerosis. EBV is not the only virus tested in blood samples, but it is the only virus that increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. scabbard wreck myelinwho destroyed it lymphocytes B in multiple sclerosis, appears in the serum only after seroconversion to EBV.

These new results are in the same direction as other results obtained previously. In October 2021, Anglo-Swedish team study the white blood cell count Infectious, caused by EBV, such as risk factor Multiple sclerosis in siblings. They conclude that having infectious mononucleosis during childhood or adolescence (between the ages of 11 and 19) increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis from age 20. The risk appears to be greater during puberty (11-15 years) and disappears completely after 25 years.

A mechanism that has not yet been explored

How can a virus cause a autoimmune disease From the nervous system? In people with multiple sclerosis, active B cells circulating in the blood travel through the blood vessels to attack the insulating sheath, myelin, that surrounds the blood. Axes From nervous cells. However, the latter is necessary for the correct transmission ofnerve impulses. The gradual disappearance of myelin sheath It causes motor, perceptual, visual and balance disturbances that vary greatly among patients.

Several hypotheses are being studied to explain how EBV can lead to this symptoms – Nothing has been confirmed yet. EBV is a family virus herpes which infects B cells in the oropharynx using their surface receptor CD21 such as Gate Access. the genome to me adn of the virus in the cell nucleus, along with our own genome, so that an infected person remains infected throughout their life.

EBV causes diseases other than mononucleosis in healthy people, including lymphoma, From crabs Characterized by abnormal proliferation of lymphocytes, such as Burkitt’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease. In the case of multiple sclerosis, some believe that EBV-infected B cells may be responsible for the symptoms.

EBV treatment to prevent multiple sclerosis?

Although EBV appears to be the cause of multiple sclerosis, it is not sufficient for the disease to spread. Other environmental factors enter the equation. Scientists know that tobacco,obesity During adolescence, a deficiency of Vitamin D or even night work One of the factors that contribute to the emergence of multiple sclerosis.

With these findings, a tremendous hope emerges: a cure for multiple sclerosis. Current treatments can slow the progression of the disease, but they do not prevent its long-term progression. Preventing EBV infection with a vaccine or antiviral seems like a natural solution. ” Currently, there is no effective way to prevent or treat EBV infection, but there is no vaccine or medication for EBV. antivirals May prevent or treat multiple sclerosis Alberto Ashrio concludes. calendar coincidence, Moderna Corporation announced on January 5, 2022 EBV Vaccine Clinical Trials Started Using Technology mRNA.

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