Virological Aspects of Multiple Sclerosis

  • V. ter Meulen
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 100)


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered to be a leading candidate among human diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) which may be associated with a viral infection. From a virological point of view the following circumstantial evidence is available: Many studies have compared the frequency of antibodies against all common viruses in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens of MS patients to matched controls and patients with other CNS diseases. Although results vary, these studies generally indicate that more patients with MS tend to have a slightly higher antibody titer against measles than the control groups. However, an increase of antibody titers against other common viruses, such as herpes simplex, vaccinia, varicella zoster, adeno viruses, influenza C, parainfluenza 3, mumps and rubella have also been reported in MS cases. Moreover, in some MS patients part of the detectable oligoclonal IgG in the CSF could be identified as viral antibodies suggesting a local hyperimmune reaction against a viral antigen (2).


Multiple Sclerosis Herpes Simplex Multiple Sclerosis Patient Central Nervous System Disease Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy 
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  1. 1.
    Dubois-Dalcq, M., Schumacher, G. and Sever, J.L., Acute multiple sclerosis. Electron microscopic evidence for and against a viral agent in the plaques, Lancet 2 (1973) 1408–1411.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Johnson, R.T., The possible viral etiology of multiple sclerosis, in Advances in Neurology, vol. 13 ( W.J. Friedlander, ed.) Raven Press, New York (1975).Google Scholar
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    McAlpine, D., Lumsden, C.E. and Acheson, E.D., Multiple sclerosis: a reappraisal (2nd ed.) Churchill-Livingstone, Edinburgh and London (1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. ter Meulen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Virology and ImmunobiologyUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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