Infectious serologies and autoantibodies in wegener's granulomatosis and other vasculitides: Novel associations disclosed using the rad BioPlex 2200

Merav Lidar, Noga Lipschitz, Pnina Langevitz, Ori Barzilai, Maya Ram, Bat Sheba Porat-Katz, Christian Pagnoux, Philippe Guilpain, Renato Alberto Sinico, Antonella Radice, Nicola Bizzaro, Jan Damoiseaux, Jan Willem Cohen Tervaert, Javier Martin, Loïc Guillevin, Stefano Bombardieri, Yehuda Shoenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this study we assess the presence of antibodies against infectious agents as well as for a variety of autoantibodies in an attempt to establish associations between various vasculitides and infections in order to shed light on the etiopathogenesis of these diseases and perhaps implicate a potential cure. Sera from patients with Wegener's granulomatosis (WG), polyarteritis nodosa, microscopic polyangiitis, Churg Strauss, and giant cell arteritis were compared to healthy control sera. Serum samples were assessed, using the Bio-Rad BioPlex 2200, for the presence of Toxoplama gondii, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Treponema pallidum, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and anti-Helicobacter pylori antibodies were assessed by ELISA. In addition, sera were tested for a panel of antibodies associated with thrombophilia as well as various autoantibodies. The prevalence of antibodies toward HCV and H. pylori was significantly higher among patients with WG. IgG antibodies toward T. gondii and IgM antibodies toward CMV were significantly more common among WG patients than among controls. WG patients exhibited more antibodies toward EBV viral capsid antigen IgG and EBV early antigen IgG compared to sera from healthy controls. In WG, positive associations were disclosed between CMV IgG antibodies and the presence of gastrointestinal manifestations and renal involvement, and there was a higher Birmingham vasculitis activity score in association with elevated titers of EBV viral capsid antigen IgG antibodies. Otorhinolaryngeal manifestations were more common in those with positive IgG antibodies for EBV early antigen. Our results unveil novel associations between WG and various infectious agents, including HCV, H. pylori, T. gondii, CMV, and EBV. In addition to putative roles in initiation and exacerbation of the vasculitic process, it seems that these infectious agents also modulate the clinical phenotype of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Challenges in Autoimmunity
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781573317627
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Infection
  • Pathogenesis
  • Vasculitis


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