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Herpes. 2005 Jun;12(1):4-9.

Human herpesvirus 6 and multiple sclerosis: potential mechanisms for virus-induced disease.

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Viral Immunology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neurological disease of unknown cause that affects people between 20 and 40 years of age. While several viruses have been associated with MS, none has proven causative. Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is one agent that may play a role in MS. Some studies have demonstrated an association between HHV-6 and MS based on immunological and molecular data, suggesting that a subset of MS patients may have reactivation of this widespread herpesvirus. New studies investigating the biology of HHV-6 have given insights towards understanding how HHV-6 may play a role in MS pathology. By inducing molecular mimicry or excessive complement activation, HHV-6 reactivation may have the potential to trigger autoimmunity and tissue damage associated with MS lesion development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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