Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: A strong association between
multiple sclerosis (MS) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) seropositivity has been
confirmed in prospective studies, supporting the view that past EBV infection
may be a prerequisite for the development of MS.1 However,
because about 90% of the general population is also EBV seropositive,2 the mechanism by which EBV could be involved in the
pathogenesis of MS remains unanswered. The study by Dr Ponsonby and colleagues3 suggests that late EBV infection in particular increases
the risk of developing MS, while exposure to EBV early in life may have a
marked protective effect.
Ruprecht K, Perron H. Exposure to Infant Siblings During Early Life and Risk of Multiple Sclerosis. JAMA. 2005;293(17):2089-2090. doi:10.1001/jama.293.17.2089-a