The role of infections in autoimmune disease

A. M. Ercolini, Stephen D Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

165 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system recognizes and attacks host tissue. In addition to genetic factors, environmental triggers (in particular viruses, bacteria and other infectious pathogens) are thought to play a major role in the development of autoimmune diseases. In this review, we (i) describe the ways in which an infectious agent can initiate or exacerbate autoimmunity; (ii) discuss the evidence linking certain infectious agents to autoimmune diseases in humans; and (iii) describe the animal models used to study the link between infection and autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Volume155
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009

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Keywords

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Molecular mimicry
  • Virus infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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