The potential role of subclinical Bordetella Pertussis colonization in the etiology of multiple sclerosis

  • Rubin K
  • Glazer S
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Abstract

It is established that (1) subclinical Bordetella pertussis colonization of the nasopharynx persists in highly vaccinated populations, and (2) B. pertussis toxin is a potent adjuvant that, when co-administered with neural antigens, induces neuropathology in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the principle animal model of multiple sclerosis. Building on these observations with supporting epidemiologic and biologic evidence, we propose that, contrary to conventional wisdom that subclinical pertussis infections are innocuous to hosts, B. pertussis colonization is an important cause of multiple sclerosis.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Bordetella pertussis toxin
  • Etiology
  • Multiple sclerosis

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