Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Autoimmune Disease


The etiology and pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases have long been an enigmatic subject that have involved genetic and environmental factors. Recent intriguing data has contributed to the mechanisms involved, including the relationship of infectious agents and loss of tolerance. This loss of tolerance is illustrated by the data on the immune response to Hepatitis B virus such as the molecular mimicry between HBV antigens and self proteins, the generation of immune complexes between HBV antigens and antibodies, and apoptosis/tissue damage resulting in the exposure of intracellular antigens to the immune system. In this paper, we review the current database related to HBV infection and a variety of autoimmune conditions, including autoimmune hepatitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, aplastic anemia, antiphospholipid syndrome, polyarteritis nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease and uveitis.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



hepatitis B surface antigen


hepatitis B surface antibody


hepatitis B core antibody


hepatitis B e antigen


hepatitis B e antibody

HBx protein:

hepatitis B × protein


autoimmune disease


multiple sclerosis


antiphospholipid syndrome


rheumatoid arthritis


systemic lupus erythematosus




membranous nephropathy


polyarteritis nodosa


autoimmune hepatitis


type 1 diabetes


experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis


myelin basic protein




b2-glycoprotein I


rheumatoid factor


cyclic citrullinated peptide


antinuclear antibodies


smooth muscle antibodies


Liver/kidney microsomes type 1


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Maya, R., Gershwin, M.E. & Shoenfeld, Y. Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Autoimmune Disease. Clinic Rev Allerg Immunol 34, 85–102 (2008) doi:10.1007/s12016-007-8013-6

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  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Systemic lupus erythomatosus
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Polyarteritis nodosa
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Thyroid disease and uveitis