EBV and fatness increase the risk ofMS

Hedström AK, Lima Bomfim I, Hillert J, Olsson T, Alfredsson L.Obesity interacts with infectious mononucleosis in risk of multiple sclerosis. Eur J Neurol. 2014 Dec 20. doi: 10.1111/ene.12620. [Epub ahead of print]BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:The possible interaction between adolescent obesity and past infectious mononucleosis (IM) was investigated with regard to multiple sclerosis (MS) risk.
METHODS:This report is based on two population-based case-control studies, one with incident cases (1780 cases, 3885 controls) and one with prevalent cases (4502 cases, 4039 controls). Subjects were categorized based on adolescent body mass index (BMI) and past IM and compared with regard to occurrence of MS.
RESULTS: Regardless of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) status, a substantial interaction was observed between adolescent obesity and past IM with regard to MS risk. The interaction was most evident when IM after the age of 10 was considered (attributable proportion due to interaction 0.8, 95% CI 0.6-1.0 in the incident study, and attributable proportion due to interaction 0.7, 95% CI 0.5-1.0 in the prevalent study). In the incident study, the odds ratio of MS was 14.7 (95% CI 5.9-36.6) amongst subjects with adolescent obesity and past IM after the age of 10, compared with subjects with none of these exposures. The corresponding odds ratio in the prevalent study was 13.2 (95% CI 5.2-33.6).
CONCLUSIONS:An obese state both impacts the cellular immune response to infections and induces a state of chronic immune-mediated inflammation which may contribute to explain our finding of an interaction between adolescent BMI and past IM. Measures taken against adolescent obesity may thus be a preventive strategy against MS.

You were 15 times more likely to get MS if you had infectious mono-glandular fever-kissing disease and were overweight in your youth. Until there is a vaccine for EBV it may be difficult to control infectious mono but with regard to obesity this is modifiable.   

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  • Re. "Until there is a vaccine for EBV it may be difficult to control infectious mono but with regard to obesity this is modifiable."
    From what I can see and my experience (being an MSer), there is no control effort over infectious mono. Guidelines allow children with mono to go to school which I find irresponsible. It would be good for GPs and schools to have more awareness about it and infections in general and the need for children to be kept at home to recover. Mono known as the kissing disease can be caught by sharing food, utensils (spoons, forks).

    • although risk increases if you have had infectious mono most people get the virus without this problem and they acquire MS risk

    • This is ProfG's interest, if there was a vaccine I'm sure he would be interested, Will he try make a vaccine, we don't have the infrastructure or expertise to do this. As for campaigning if he can clone himself then he may have the time.

  • You may also want to investigate the incidence of the use of soap and the prevalence of ms. I expect the percentage of humans who use soap is comparible to the percentage of humans that have EBV. It would be a great hypothesis for Team G to explore and seems to have the same level of logic for a cause of MS.

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