MORRIS ZIFF, Ph.D., M.D., F.A.C.P.
The role of virus infection in multisystem disease of man is examined, using evidence from patients and animal models. In New Zealand Black mice and their F1 hybrid NZB-NZW strain, leukemogenic and nonleukemogenic viruses play a role in the development of immunologic abnormalities and glomerulonephritis. In man, viral immune complexes may produce arthritis, vasculitis, and renal abnormalities. Although a specific viral infection in systemic lupus erythematosus has not been shown, endothelial cytoplasmic inclusions, commonest in the kidney, suggest the presence of a viral agent in the tissues. Increased reactivity to nucleic acid antigens has been a striking feature of both systemic lupus erythematosus and NZB-NZW disease. Genetic factors may play a role in this increased responsiveness through mechanisms as yet undetermined. It is proposed that a chronic viral infection is present in systemic lupus erythematosus, and this infection may exert an adjuvant effect on the immunological responsiveness of the patient, leading to autoimmunity, autoantibody formation, and multisystem disease.
ZIFF M. Viruses and the Connective Tissue Diseases. Ann Intern Med. ;75:951–958. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-75-6-951
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1971;75(6):951-958.
Infectious Disease, Rheumatology.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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