Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and the Environment

Nancy Agmon-Levin, Yehuda Shoenfeld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a classical model of autoimmune diseases. Like other autoimmune diseases, it is linked with a mosaic of factors that may contribute to disease appearance, course, and manifestations. Among these factors, environmental triggers are associated with the loss of immune tolerance, production of autoantibodies, followed by appearances of overt autoimmunity. In particular, SLE is strongly allied with exposure to infectious agents (e.g., Epstein-Barr virus) and drugs, both of which are related to induction of disease as well as with its different phenotypes. Other triggers such as exposure to ultraviolet light, cigarette smoke, vaccines, as well as organic and inorganic chemicals are related to this systemic autoimmune disease. Notably, exposure to some of these triggers may be avoided and thus enable primary and/or secondary prevention of disease. In this chapter, we provide the evidence regarding the complex interplay between the environment and SLE as well as suggested modes of intervention and prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSystemic Lupus Erythematosus
Subtitle of host publicationBasic, Applied and Clinical Aspects
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128020098
ISBN (Print)9780128019177
StatePublished - 2016


  • ASIA-Autoimmune/autoinflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvant
  • Adjuvant
  • EBV
  • Infections
  • Pesticides
  • Silica
  • Silicone
  • Smoking
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • UV-light
  • Vaccines


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