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Autoimmunity. 1993;16(1):39-43.

Aberrant cellular localization of rubella viral genome in patients with adult Still's disease--a pilot study.

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Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal General Hospital Research Institute, Quebec, Canada.


The rubella virus (RV) genome was detected using polymerase chain amplification techniques in several peripheral blood cell populations in patients with adult Still's disease (ASD) and normal controls (NC), including mononuclear cells (PBMC), B-cells, T-cells, monocyte/macrophages, and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). Five of 6 ASD patients and 3 of 6 NC subjects had detectable RV genome. Viral genomic load was significantly higher in ASD than in NC subjects (4.4 fold higher, p = 0.03). Interestingly, a differential cellular distribution of viral genome was observed between ASD and NC individuals. RV genome was detected more frequently in the PBMCs of ASD (5 of 6) patients compared to 2 of 6 NC. The viral genome was more localized to the PMN compartment equally in ASD and in NC subjects. On further cellular analysis, RV genome was detected in B-cells and macrophages but not T-cells in one patient. Existence of a differential viral genomic reservoir between ASD and NC suggests that this may play a role in the pathogenesis of disease manifestations and may reflect the inability to clear latent virus.

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