Conclusion

In summary, we have reviewed the evidence favoring an infectious cause of MS. Possible mechanisms for infection-induced demyelination has been described. Epi-demiological, serological, and other data in support of several human and animal candidate viruses have been presented. No single agent has yet been unequivocally linked to MS. Recommendations for further research are provided, but—as has been pointed out previously by Bernard and Simini—sublata causa tollitur effectus (194): a causal link can be invoked only after removal of the hypothetical cause has been shown to eliminate the effect.

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