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Epstein-Barr Virus Protein Can "Switch On" Risk Genes For Autoimmune Diseases

Thursday 19 April 2018


From the US's National Institutes of Health:


Epstein-Barr virions
An electron microscopy image
showing three Epstein-Barr virions.

Epstein-Barr virus protein can “switch on” risk genes for autoimmune diseases

EBV may trigger some cases of lupus, say NIH-supported researchers.

News Releases
Monday, April 16, 2018
NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

Infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the cause of infectious mononucleosis, has been associated with subsequent development of systemic lupus erythematosus and other chronic autoimmune illnesses, but the mechanisms behind this association have been unclear. Now, a novel computational method shows that a viral protein found in EBV-infected human cells may activate genes associated with increased risk for autoimmunity. Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases report their findings today in Nature Genetics.

“Many cases of autoimmune illness are difficult to treat and can result in debilitating symptoms. Studies like this are allowing us to untangle environmental and genetic factors that may cause the body’s immune system to attack its own tissues,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.  “A better understanding of the complex causes of autoimmunity promises to lead to better treatment and prevention options.”


Full article…



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