MS is not traditionally thought of as an infectious disease. So it is not typical to speak of “MS infections.” However, some infections may be associated with multiple sclerosis. Infections such as the Epstein-Barr virus and the Chlamydophila pneumoniae bacteria have been shown to play a role in exacerbating MS symptoms in some patients.

The involvement of infectious pathogens in the triggering and progression of multiple sclerosis is complex. It is this complexity, among other factors, that has made multiple sclerosis a difficult condition to understand. Years of medical research have been able to establish that MS is linked to some changes in the genes; hence, some people are said to be genetically predisposed towards developing it. At the same time, however, these MS-associated genetic changes are not necessarily passed directly from parent to child.

Then there is the fact that nobody has been able to pin down the single factor or event that is responsible for triggering MS in all MS patients. Some people even challenge one of the most popular conventional understandings of MS: the claim that it is an autoimmune disorder. Given that there are so many apparently different understandings of MS, and given that they don’t all fit neatly into a single box, it should not come as a surprise that medical scientists are still trying to understand the nature of MS. Research on the implication of bacterial and viral infections in the development and progression of MS is very much in line with these efforts on the part of medical scientists.


Should Credence Be Given to the Term “MS Infections”?


It has been established that the aforementioned infections play a significant role in exacerbating MS and triggering flare ups. Among those patients who have the infections, treatment of the infections often results in the resolution of their MS symptoms. What does this mean? Could it mean that, in these sufferers of MS, infections of various kinds are actually the cause of the MS?

Medical science hesitates to respond to this question in the affirmative. But it is worth considering in greater depth. It is not improbable that, in some cases, MS is actually a manifestation of viral or bacterial infections. Those patients who fall into this category might be genetically or nutritionally predisposed towards developing multiple sclerosis. Infections could thus be said to be among a number of possible pathways that lead to MS. Perhaps this will prove to be an inaccurate approach to thinking about MS. But the only way to conclusively determine this is to test the hypothesis under controlled conditions.