Research: Antibiotics and MS


Background: A 2006 study from the United Kingdom (163 cases) found that penicillin use may decrease the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: To confirm this finding, the authors conducted a nationwide case-control study in Denmark, using the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Registry to identify 3,259 patients with MS onset from 1996 to 2008, and selected 10 population controls per case (n = 32,590), matched on sex and age. Through the National Prescription Database, prescriptions for antibiotics redeemed from 1995 to 2008 and before the date of first MS symptom/index date were identified.

Results: Conditional logistic regression analysis was used to compute odds ratios associating antibiotic use with MS occurrence. In total, 1,922 patients (59%) redeemed penicillin prescriptions before the index date and 2,292 (70%) redeemed any type of antibiotic prescription. Penicillin use was associated with an increased risk of MS (odds ratio = 1.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.10, 1.27). Use of any type ofantibiotic was similarly associated with an increased risk of MS (odds ratio = 1.41, 95% confidence interval: 1.29, 1.53). The odds ratios for different types of antibiotics ranged between 1.08 and 1.83.

Conclusions: Thus, this study found that penicillin use and use of other antibiotics were similarly associated with increased risk of MS, suggesting that the underlying infections may be causally associated with MS.

Following suggestions that gut flora can influence disease, Based on studies on animals that indicate that gut flora can enhance or inhibit autoimmunity . This perhaps suggests that the answer will not be black and white

Minocycline is a traditional antibiotic with profound anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects and good tolerance for long-term use. Rather than an adverse effect, monocycline has some encouraging results from the animal model and clinical experiments on minocycline make it an interesting candidate for MS treatment, whether used alone or combined with other drugs. TThis is being investigated.

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