Immune 4


Infection also are implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. The classic example is rheumatic fever, which is thought to be a consequence of cross-reactivity or “molecular mimicry” between antigens carried by certain strains of streptococci and self-antigens of the heart.Mycoplasma pneumonia can induce the production of cold agglutinins, polyclonal cold-reactive IgM autoantibodies  against the erythrocyte I, or i antigens that can cause complement-mediated AIHA. A variety of other parasitic (eg, schistosomiasis, Chagas’ disease), bacterial (eg, Helicobacter pylori, staphylococci, salmonella, Lyme borreliosis), mycobacterial (eg, tuberculosis, leprosy), and viral (eg, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, Coxsackie virus, parvovirus B19) infection can be complicated by autoimmunity. Proposed mechanisms include molecular mimicry and the chronic overproduction of cytokines, such as IFN-α. Indeed, therapy with IFN-α can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroiditis and SLE

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