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EBV Infection and Multiple Sclerosis: example of a cause of disease being a poor screening test for disease

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is a cause of multiple sclerosis but evidence of EBV infection is not an effective screening test for the disease. The reason is that nearly everyone is infected but only a few develop multiple sclerosis.

It is a good example of the fact that important causes of a disease typically make poor screening tests for that disease.

The evidence that EBV infection is a cause of multiple sclerosis was examined in detail at a workshop held at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine on 5th and 6th October 2016. The report of the workshops is posted here.


 
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