Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) appears to develop in genetically susceptible individuals as a result of environmental exposures. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is an almost universal finding among individuals with MS. Symptomatic EBV infection as manifested by infectious mononucleosis (IM) has been shown in a previous meta-analysis to be associated with the risk of MS, however a number of much larger studies have since been published. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a Medline search to identify articles published since the original meta-analysis investigating MS risk following IM. A total of 18 articles were included in this study, including 19390 MS patients and 16007 controls. We calculated the relative risk of MS following IM using a generic inverse variance with random effects model. This showed that the risk of MS was strongly associated with IM (relative risk (RR) 2.17; 95% confidence interval 1.97-2.39; p<10(-54)). DISCUSSION: Our results establish firmly that a history of infectious mononucleosis significantly increases the risk of multiple sclerosis. Future work should focus on the mechanism of this association and interaction with other risk factors.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0012496

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

01/09/2010

Volume

5

Keywords

Cohort Studies, Female, Humans, Infectious Mononucleosis, Male, Multiple Sclerosis, Risk Factors