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Medical News & Perspectives
January 17, 2001

Not So Fast: Research on Infectious Links to MS Questioned

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JAMA. 2001;285(3):279-281. doi:10.1001/jama.285.3.279

Washington—Amid scattered reports of physicians prescribing antiviral and antibiotic medicines for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)—both unproven against the disease—research into infectious triggers for MS is generating controversy over two pathogenic suspects, one a virus, the other a bacterium.

In 1998, separate teams of researchers announced that they had found higher-than-expected amounts of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and Chlamydia pneumoniae in the central nervous systems of MS patients, findings that have been roundly debated. And while the two organisms appear in different chapters of the microbiological textbook, their paths through the scientific wringer have been similar.

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