Infection with a virus related to Epstein-Barr dysregulates the immune system of monkeys
19 July 2016
Infection with Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is a major risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, it is not clear why this is the case. Using monkey models, BPRC researchers claim to have found a possible explanation for this association.
In the normal situation, the immune system focuses on the elimination of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites. In MS, however, the immune system attacks components of the own body, in particular the insulating (myelin) layer that surrounds nerve fibers, causing impairment of nerve function. The onset of MS and the mechanisms that underlie the chronic disease course are difficult to study in patients. To enable this kind of studies, researchers at the BPRC use monkey models for MS.