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Epstein-Barr Virus and Cytomegalovirus in Autoimmune Diseases *

Abstract: To date, it is believed that the origin of autoimmune diseases is one of a multifactorial background. A genetic predisposition, an immune system malfunction or even backfire, hormonal regulation, and environmental factors all play important roles in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Among these environmental factors, the role of infection is known to be a major one. Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) are considered to be notorious as they are consistently associated with multiple autoimmune diseases. A cohort of 1595 serum samples, of 23 different autoimmune disease groups, was screened for evidence of prior infection with EBV and CMV. All samples were screened for antibodies against EBV nuclear antigen-1 (IgG), EBV viral capsid antigen (IgG and IgM), EBV early antigen (IgG), EBV heterophile antibody, and CMV (IgG and IgM) antibodies using Bio-Rad's BioPlex 2200. A new association is proposed between EBV and polymyositis, as results show a significant increase in titers of various EBV target analytes when compared with healthy controls. Our results also support prior information suggesting the association between EBV and multiple autoimmune diseases, including SLE, antiphospholipid syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, pemphigus vulgaris, giant cell arthritis, Wegener's granulomatosis, and polyarteritis nodosa (PAN). Elevated CMV IgG titers were observed in sera of SLE patients. Our data support the theory that EBV is notoriously associated with many autoimmune diseases. CMV appears to be associated to autoimmune diseases as well, yet establishing this theory requires further investigation.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-26-2011
Authors: O. BARZILAI, Y. SHERER, M. RAM, D. IZHAKY, J.M. ANAYA, Y. SHOENFELD
Source: Autoimmunity, Part D: Autoimmune Disease, Annus Mirabilis pages 567–577, June 2007