Myocarditis: A Postinfectious Autoimmune Disease

  • N. R. Rose
  • N. Neu
  • D. A. Neumann
  • A. Herskowitz


An association of autoimmune disease with infection, including viral infection, is strongly supported by clinical observation and epidemiologic study. A cause-and-effect relationship, however, between a particular infectious agent and a specific autoimmune response has been difficult to establish. A number of plausible mechanisms have been proposed, including molecular mimicry, changes induced in endogenous antigens, and disturbance in the host’s immune response. Coxsackievirus (CV) infections frequently initiate autoimmune response in humans and provide a tool for understanding postinfection autoimmune disease. The first step is to delineate the specificity of the autoimmune response and identify the corresponding antigens. In the case of postinfectious autoimmunity, this task may be complicated by the fact that only a minor proportion of patients go on to develop significant autoimmune disease. Analysis of the pathogenetic potential of the autoimmune response requires establishing a malleable model.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Cardiac Myosin CVB3 Infection Autoimmune Myocarditis Skeletal Muscle Myosin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. R. Rose
    • 2
  • N. Neu
    • 1
  • D. A. Neumann
    • 2
  • A. Herskowitz
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of General and Experimental PathologyUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, School of Hygiene and Public HealthThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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