Article from the Boston Cure Project website on CPn
Hollie writes "Like many other areas of study in MS, research into whether Chlamydia pneumoniae (Cpn) is associated with the disease has generated many conflicting results. Some studies conclude that people with MS are more likely to be infected with Cpn while others report no differences between people with MS and controls. A team of scientists in Greece have taken steps to understand and resolve these differences by performing a meta-analysis of 26 case-control studies that have been published since 1996. They found that those studies using PCR to detect Cpn DNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and those that examined production of anti-Cpn antibodies in the central nervous system, when analyzed as groups, showed statistically significant associations between Cpn infection and MS. Meta-analysis of those studies that searched for Cpn antibodies in serum or CSF did not reveal significant associations. However, the authors noted that differences between/shortcomings in several of the studies might have affected the results of the analysis. For instance, some studies had different gender proportions in the case and control groups, and almost none of the studies asked for smoking status (smoking increases the risk of Cpn infection and has also been reported as a risk factor for MS).
The authors note that even if Cpn infection is more common in people with MS, this does not prove that Cpn is a risk factor for MS -- perhaps MS increases the chance of Cpn infection of the central nervous system. They recommend conducting well-designed prospective studies that would detect the presence of Cpn prior to MS onset, and suggest that anti-chlamydial treatment trials may also be of value."