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Immunol Today. 1993 Sep;14(9):426-30.

Defining criteria for autoimmune diseases (Witebsky's postulates revisited)

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  • 1Dept of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205.


With new knowledge gained from molecular biology and hybridoma technology, as well as the original Witebsky postulates, we propose that three types of evidence can be marshalled to establish that a human disease is autoimmune in origin. They include direct evidence from transfer of pathogenic antibody or pathogenic T cells; indirect evidence based on reproduction of the autoimmune disease in experimental animals; and circumstantial evidence from clinical clues.

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