, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 73-85
Date: 28 Jul 2012

Autoimmune manifestations in viral hepatitis

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Infections by the viruses responsible for hepatitis B, C and D are accompanied by a number of immunopathological manifestations. A link between infection and autoimmunity is particularly well documented for the hepatitis C virus. Immunopathological manifestations range from production of autoantibodies to overt autoimmune disease, including thyroiditis and autoimmune hepatitis, and to immune-complex-mediated disorders, including cryoglobulinaemia, glomerulonephritis and vasculitis. Several of these manifestations improve with successful antiviral treatment, directly incriminating the virus in their pathogenesis. Mechanisms considered responsible for hepatitis virus-related immunopathology, including molecular mimicry, impairment of regulatory T cells and activation of B lymphocytes, will be examined in this review.

This article is published as part of the Special Issue on Immunopathology of viral hepatitis