Abstract: “Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human lymphotropic herpesvirus with a well-established causal role in several cancers. Recent studies have provided compelling epidemiological and mechanistic evidence for a causal role of EBV in multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is the most prevalent chronic inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system and is thought to be triggered in genetically predisposed individuals by an infectious agent, with EBV as the lead candidate. How a ubiquitous virus that typically leads to benign latent infections can promote cancer and autoimmune disease in at-risk populations is not fully understood. Here we review the evidence that EBV is a causal agent for MS and how various risk factors may affect EBV infection and immune control. We focus on EBV contributing to MS through reprogramming of latently infected B lymphocytes and the chronic presentation of viral antigens as a potential source of autoreactivity through molecular mimicry. We consider how knowledge of EBV-associated cancers may be instructive for understanding the role of EBV in MS and discuss the potential for therapies that target EBV to treat MS.”
Soldan SS, Lieberman PM. Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2022 Aug 5. doi: 10.1038/s41579-022-00770-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35931816.