Will an EBV vaccine work?

A short talk I gave on EBV vaccination as a strategy to prevent and/or treat MS. Do you think it is feasible? What do we need to do to make this a reality?

Jul 12, 2022

As you are aware the European Charcot Foundation kindly hosted an international online meeting on the EBV-MS hypothesis.

I participated in every session and it is clear to me that many people online don’t understand the meaning of ‘necessary but not sufficient’ when it comes to EBV’s role in MS.

In other words, if you can prevent someone from becoming infected with EBV it doesn’t matter about the other risk factors they should be protected from getting MS.

However, in people who are infected with EBV, it is then that other factors play a role. Even then the role other risk factors play is complex to the point that most people who are at risk of getting MS don’t get MS, which is why bad luck or some random event needs to take place for someone to develop MS. This is why prevention strategies need to go beyond EBV and is why smoking, vitamin D, sunlight, obesity, air pollution, solvent exposure, etc. need to be part of the prevention mix.

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General Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions expressed here are those of Professor Giovannoni and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry or Barts Health NHS Trust. The advice is intended as general advice and should not be interpreted as personal clinical advice. If you have problems please tell your own healthcare professional who will be able to help you.