HC Deb 17 December 1979 vol 976 cc11-2W
Mr. Marlow

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what research has been done or is intended to be done into the links between canine distemper and multiple sclerosis; and what have been the results so far.

Mr. Macfarlane

The Medical Research Council has supported epidemiological studies in the Faroe Islands which have suggested a possible relationship between canine distemper virus—CDV—and multiple sclerosis. In addition, elevated titres of antibody to CDV have been found in multiple sclerosis patients. However, much further research is needed before any conclusions can be drawn; research is continuing both in the United Kingdom, in particular at the National Institute for Medical Research, which is an institute of the Medical Research Council, and abroad.

The Medical Research Council also supports research on the possible viral aetiology of multiple sclerosis—involving viruses other than CDV—at the Council's laboratory of molecular biology at Cam- bridge, its virology unit at Glasgow, and at the universities of Bristol, London. York and Queen's University, Belfast.