Author(s): Vento S, Guella L, Mirandola F, Cainelli F, Di Perri G,
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Abstract During follow-up of healthy relatives of 13 patients with autoimmune hepatitis, seven cases of infectious mononucleosis due to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) occurred. In two of these seven, before EBV infection, there was a defect in suppressor-inducer T lymphocytes specifically controlling immune responses to the asialoglycoprotein receptor, an antigen expressed on the hepatocyte surface. In these two, antibodies to this autoantigen persisted and increased after infectious mononucleosis, and autoimmune hepatitis developed within 4 months. In susceptible individuals, EBV is a trigger for autoimmune hepatitis.
This article was published in Lancet
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology