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EBV and Autoimmunity

  • Alberto Ascherio
  • Kassandra L. Munger
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 390)

Abstract

Although a role of EBV in autoimmunity is biologically plausible and evidence of altered immune responses to EBV is abundant in several autoimmune diseases, inference on causality requires the determination that disease risk is higher in individuals infected with EBV than in those uninfected and that in the latter it increases following EBV infection. This determination has so far been possible only for multiple sclerosis (MS) and, to some extent, for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), whereas evidence is either lacking or not supportive for other autoimmune conditions. In this chapter, we present the main epidemiological findings that justify the conclusion that EBV is a component cause of MS and SLE and possible mechanisms underlying these effects.

Keywords

Autoimmunity Epidemiology Multiple sclerosis Systemic lupus Erythematosus Risk factors 

Abbreviations

CMV

Cytomegalovirus

CNS

Central nervous system

CSF

Cerebrospinal fluid

DoDSR

Department of defense serum repository

EBERs

Epstein–Barr virus-encoded small RNAs

EBNA

Epstein–Barr virus nuclear antigen

EBV

Epstein–Barr virus

HLA

Human leukocyte antigen

IM

Infectious mononucleosis

MS

Multiple sclerosis

OR

Odds ratio

SLE

Systemic lupus erythematosus

VCA

Epstein–Barr virus viral capsid antigen

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and NutritionHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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