Author(s): Diaz LA, Arteaga LA, HilarioVargas J, Valenzuela JG, Li N,
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Abstract Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) and the endemic form Fogo Selvagem (FS) are mediated by pathogenic antibodies to the EC1-2 domains of desmoglein-1. There is a preclinical phase with antibodies to only EC5. Based on geographic clustering of cases, FS is thought to have an, as yet unidentified, environmental trigger. In this study we have searched for anti-desmoglein-1 antibodies in sera from parasitic (leishmaniasis, Chagas, and onchocerciasis), and infectious diseases (leprosy and South American (SA) blastomycosis), which are prevalent in the same geographic regions of Brazil as FS. A specific and sensitive desmoglein-1 ELISA detected antibodies in 34 of 41 onchocerciasis (83\%), 38 of 88 leishmaniasis (43\%), 18 of 31 Chagas disease (58\%), 7 of 28 SA blastomycosis (25\%), and 14 of 83 leprosy sera (17\%). These sera recognized epitopes restricted to the EC5 domain. These findings identify several etiological factors for FS. It is hypothesized that a component of insect vector saliva, rather than the parasite itself may trigger an antibody response to EC-5. In persons with the known HLA susceptibility alleles and living in endemic areas, a response to the EC1-2 domains may subsequently develop by epitope spreading with associated clinical signs of FS.
This article was published in J Invest Dermatol
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access