Autoimmunity has been referred to as a dyslexic process of self-recognition (Katz, 1993), that is, a disturbance in the ability to communicate such that the immune system is unable to properly “read” the markers on partner cells. Such communication is essential for immune reactions against foreign antigens to occur in a normal manner as well as for tolerance to occur following self-recognition. The role of viruses in the etiopathogenesis of human autoimmune disease has long been suspected but as yet unproven. However, recent evidence suggests that viruses may be involved in the pathogenesis of Sjogren’s syndrome (Talal, 1991). If viruses do in fact play a role in inducing autoimmune disease, the mechanism(s) involved remain to be elucidated. In particular, it is not clear whether virus-induced autoimmunity is the result of a normal antiviral immune response that subsequently cross-reacts with self-antigens or whether viruses actually induce abnormal communication within the immune system such that self-antigens are misread as foreign.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Acquire Immunodeficiency Syndrome Human Autoimmune Disease
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