Is there really an association between EBV antibodies and antibody Synthesis

Pfuhl C, Oechtering J, Rasche L, Gieß RM, Behrens JR, Wakonig K, Freitag E, Pache FC, Otto C, Hofmann J, Eberspächer B, Bellmann-Strobl J, Paul F, Ruprecht K. Association of serum Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen-1 antibodies and intrathecal immunoglobulin synthesis in early multiple sclerosis. 

J Neuroimmunol. 2015;285:156-60

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. A characteristic feature of MS is an intrathecal synthesis of immunoglobulin (Ig)G. In 90 patients with clinically isolated syndromes/early relapsing-remitting MS, serum antibodies to Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen-1, but not to EBV viral capsid antigen, rubella, or varicella zoster virus, were higher (p=0.03) in those with than those without a calculated intrathecal IgG synthesis >0% and correlated with the percentage (r=0.27, p=0.009) and concentration (r=0.27, p=0.012) of intrathecally produced IgG. These findings suggest a link between EBV infection and the events leading to intrathecal IgG synthesis in patients with MS.

Just looking through the blog and clearing out abstracts that did not make it on the blog and I came across this one. There is a very significant effect but you have to ask is it biologically important association or do you think that bits of the equation is missing. This is what you have to do when you read papers.

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  • People have been looking at EBV as a cause for MS for decades. How much longer do you need to investigate this?

    I guess this is why G is on this bandwagon since the mountains of research data has already been accumulated, but to the average MSer it looks like he is thinking out of the box.

    To the rest of the scientific community not so much.

    • Oooh that's a fairly snippy comment. Really I feel it says more about you (and I don't mean in a benevolent sense) than you can – assume/presume – about Professor Giovanonni's motivation or indeed whatever the 'average MSer' may think.

  • Will we ever get a definitive answer on EBV's role. It's generally agreed that EBV is a risk factor, but no researcher ever provides a definitive answer. Prof G is convinced, but can't produce the goods. Why is it so difficult? Why aren't virologists involved? I can see this story running for another 20 years and i'll be long gone by then.

    • Only when we can deal with EBV do you get an answer. It has evolved with humans and is not a simplesolution.

      Maybe we should se if of infectious mononucleosis

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