99th Dahlem Conference on Infection, Inflammation and Chronic Inflammatory Disorders: Triggering of autoimmune diseases by infections

M. T. Getts, S. D. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), are linked genetically to distinct major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules and other immune modulators. However, genetic predisposition is only one risk factor for the development of these diseases, and low concordance rates in monozygotic twins as well as geographical distribution of disease risk suggest a critical role for environmental factors in the triggering of these autoimmune diseases. Among potential environmental factors, infections have been implicated in the onset and/or promotion of autoimmunity. This review will discuss human autoimmune diseases with a potential viral cause, and outline potential mechanisms by which pathogens can trigger autoimmune disease as discerned from various animal models of infection-induced autoimmune disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Volume160
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Epitope spreading
  • Infection
  • Molecular mimicry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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