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Immunol Res. 2013 Jul;56(2-3):287-92. doi: 10.1007/s12026-013-8402-2.

Toxoplasma gondii: bystander or cofactor in rheumatoid arthritis.

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1
The Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Sheba Medical Center, 52621, Tel HaShomer, Israel.

Abstract

Parasitic infections may induce variable immunomodulatory effects and control of autoimmune disease. Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a ubiquitous intracellular protozoan that was recently associated with autoimmunity. This study was undertaken to investigate the seroprevalence and clinical correlation of anti-T. gondii antibodies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We evaluated sera from European patients with RA (n = 125) and SLE (n = 164) for the prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies (ATXAb), as well as other common infections such as Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, and Rubella virus. The rates of seropositivity were determined utilizing the LIAISON chemiluminescent immunoassays (DiaSorin, Italy). Our results showed a higher seroprevalence of ATXAb in RA patients, as compared with SLE patients [63 vs. 36 %, respectively (p = 0.01)]. The rates of seropositivity of IgG against other infectious agents were comparable between RA and SLE patients. ATXAb-seropositivity was associated with older age of RA patients, although it did not correlate with RA disease activity and other manifestations of the disease. In conclusion, our data suggest a possible link between exposure to T. gondii infection and RA.

PMID:
23553228
DOI:
10.1007/s12026-013-8402-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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