Living With Multiple Sclerosis HTML version

“Living with Multiple Sclerosis” by Piet Mesmer
Page 29 of 100
Infectious Agents
Viruses top the list of suspects for causing autoimmune response in
people who are genetically susceptible to multiple sclerosis. Factors
that favor this conclusion include:
1. The geographical distribution of the disease: The number of
multiple sclerosis-infected people is more as one moves away from
the equator in either direction.
2. Some studies indicate that multiple sclerosis might be a sexually
transmitted infection. Countries with some sexual freedom seem to
have a higher degree of multiple sclerosis in their population while
the disease is close to negligible in countries with traditional
3. Viral similarity to myelin: Some viruses are quite similar to
myelin. This similarity may cause confusion to the immune system
and make the T-cells attack the body protein rather than viral
antigens. There are not sufficient results from studies to confirm
this as a prime trigger.
Three major suspects are:
1. HHv-6 or Herpes virus 6, a form of herpes virus that causes
rosella, a benign children’s disease.
2. Chlamydia pneumonia, a bacterium that causes constant
inflammation in small vessels.
3. Epstein-Barr virus, the virus that causes mononucleosis.
What causes multiple sclerosis in an individual is still a debatable
issue but the most widely accepted theory is that of an autoimmune
Copyright © 2006 All rights reserved
- 29 -