Role of Infectious Diseases in the Antiphospholipid Syndrome (Including Its Catastrophic Variant)

  • Claudia Mendoza-Pinto
  • Mario García-Carrasco
  • Ricard CerveraEmail author
Antiphospholipid Syndrome (S Zuily, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Antiphospholipid Syndrome


Purpose of Review

The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by the development of thrombotic events and pregnancy morbidity in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). An infectious etiology for this syndrome has been postulated. The present review is aimed to summarize recent evidence about the role of infections and vaccines in the pathogenesis of the APS (including its catastrophic variant).

Recent Findings

There is an increased risk of developing aPL in various infections, particularly in viral infections. The most frequent infection related to aPL has been hepatitis C virus. These antibodies may be associated with thromboembolic events, including catastrophic APS. There is a link between vaccinations, such as the tetanus toxoid and aPL, due to molecular mimicry between the two molecules.


Accumulated evidence supports that the presence of aPL is associated with a variety of infections, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and the main mechanism to explain this correlation is molecular mimicry. Moreover, a link between vaccinations, such as the tetanus toxoid, and APS has also been described.


Antiphospholipid syndrome Infections Vaccines Thrombosis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Mendoza-Pinto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mario García-Carrasco
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ricard Cervera
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Systemic Autoimmune Diseases Research Unit, UMAE CMN Manuel Avila CamachoInstituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialPueblaMexico
  2. 2.Immunology and Rheumatology, Medical SchoolBenemérita Universidad Autónoma de PueblaPueblaMexico
  3. 3.Department of Autoimmune DiseasesHospital ClinicBarcelonaSpain

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