Multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases in which cells of the central nervous system (CNS) are lost or damaged are rapidly increasing in frequency, and there is neither effective treatment nor cure to impede or arrest their destructive course. The Epstein-Barr virus is a human gamma-herpesvirus that infects more than 90% of the human population worldwide and persisting for the lifetime of the host. It is associated with numerous epithelial cancers, principally undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma and gastric carcinoma. Individuals with a history of symptomatic primary EBV infection, called infectious mononucleosis, carry a moderately higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). It is not known how EBV infection potentially promotes autoimmunity and central nervous system (CNS) tissue damage in MS. Recently it has been found that EBV isolates from different geographic regions have highly conserved BARF1 epitopes. BARF1 protein has the neuroprotective and mitogenic activity, thus may be useful to combat and overcome neurodegenerative disease. BARF1 protein therapy can potentially be used to enhance the neuroprotective activities by combinational treatment with anti-inflammatory antagonists and neuroprotectors in neural disorders.
Keywords: Epstein-Barr Virus, neuroregeneration, chronic inflammatory disorders, multiple sclerosis
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