Immunologic Research

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 220–240

Tracing environmental markers of autoimmunity: introducing the infectome

Authors

    • Division of Transplantation Immunology and Mucosal Biology, Institute of Liver StudiesKing’s College London School of Medicine at King’s College Hospital
    • Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health SciencesUniversity of Thessaly
  • Daniel S. Smyk
    • Division of Transplantation Immunology and Mucosal Biology, Institute of Liver StudiesKing’s College London School of Medicine at King’s College Hospital
  • Pietro Invernizzi
    • Liver Unit and Center for Autoimmune Liver DiseasesHumanitas Clinical and Research Centre
  • Eirini I. Rigopoulou
    • Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health SciencesUniversity of Thessaly
  • Miri Blank
    • The Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune DiseasesSheba Medical Center
  • Lazaros Sakkas
    • Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health SciencesUniversity of Thessaly
  • Shideh Pouria
    • Nutritional Sciences DivisionKing’s College School of Medicine
  • Yehuda Shoenfeld
    • The Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune DiseasesSheba Medical Center
Etio Pathogenesis of Autoimmunity

DOI: 10.1007/s12026-013-8399-6

Cite this article as:
Bogdanos, D.P., Smyk, D.S., Invernizzi, P. et al. Immunol Res (2013) 56: 220. doi:10.1007/s12026-013-8399-6

Abstract

We recently introduced the concept of the infectome as a means of studying all infectious factors which contribute to the development of autoimmune disease. It forms the infectious part of the exposome, which collates all environmental factors contributing to the development of disease and studies the sum total of burden which leads to the loss of adaptive mechanisms in the body. These studies complement genome-wide association studies, which establish the genetic predisposition to disease. The infectome is a component which spans the whole life and may begin at the earliest stages right up to the time when the first symptoms manifest, and may thus contribute to the understanding of the pathogenesis of autoimmunity at the prodromal/asymptomatic stages. We provide practical examples and research tools as to how we can investigate disease-specific infectomes, using laboratory approaches employed from projects studying the “immunome” and “microbiome”. It is envisioned that an understanding of the infectome and the environmental factors that affect it will allow for earlier patient-specific intervention by clinicians, through the possible treatment of infectious agents as well as other compounding factors, and hence slowing or preventing disease development.

Keywords

AutoimmunityAutoimmune diseaseEnvironmentInfectionImmunityMicrobiome

Abbreviations

AMA

Anti-mitochondrial antibody

ANA

Anti-nuclear antibody

CMV

Cytomegalovirus

CSF

Cerebrospinal fluid

EBV

Epstein–Barr virus

EWAS

Environmental-wide association study

FDR

First-degree relatives

GWAS

Genome-wide association study

HHV6

Human herpesvirus 6

LC–MS/MS

Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry

MS

Multiple sclerosis

IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome

PBC

Primary biliary cirrhosis

PCR

Polymerase chain reaction

PDC

Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex

SLE

Systemic lupus erythematosus

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013