Beta-2-glycoprotein-I, infections, antiphospholipid syndrome and therapeutic considerations

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Evidence supports the association between infectious agents, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies and anti-β2-glycoprotein-I (β2GPI) antibodies. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of bacteria/viruses in induction of an autoimmune condition, such as molecular mimicry between structures of a pathogen and self antigen and bystander activation or bacterial/viral superantigens. Protein databases reveal high homologies between the β2GPI-related synthetic peptides and infectious agents. Studies employing experimental APS models proved molecular mimicry between β2GPI-related synthetic peptides, which serve as target epitopes for anti-β2GPI Abs, and structures within bacteria, viruses (e.g., CMV), and tetanus toxoid. Any explanation of how microbial infections might induce APS must take into account the genetic predisposition. In this paper, we discuss the association of antiphospholipid antibodies, infectious states, and molecular mimicry as a proposed mechanism for development of APS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Anti-beta-2-glycoprotein-I
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Infection


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