Autoimmune bullous diseases. The spectrum of infectious agent antibodies and review of the literature

Lior Sagi, Sharon Baum, Nancy Agmon-Levin, Yaniv Sherer, Bat Sheva Porat Katz, Ori Barzilai, Maya Ram, Nicola Bizzaro, Marielle SanMarco, Henri Trau, Yehuda Shoenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid are two autoimmune diseases that have a similar pathogenesis. Both have a genetic predisposition which promotes the production of auto-antibodies targeted against different components of the epidermal desmosome and hemidesmosome. Environmental factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of this autoimmune disease. Among these, the role of infectious agents was debated as a causative factor. We sought to determine a possible connection between various infectious agents and autoimmune bullous disease (ABD). A cohort of 148 serum samples of patients with pemphigus, bullous pemphigoid and controls was screened for evidence of a prior infection with HBV, HCV, EBV, CMV, Helicobacter pylori, Toxoplasma gondii and Treponema pallidum, utilizing the Bio-Rad BioPlex 2200 system as well as ELISA assays to complete the panel. HBV, HCV, H. pylori, T. gondii and CMV were demonstrated to have significantly higher prevalence of antibodies in patients with pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid in comparison to controls. Among them, we found a novel association between H. pylori and ABD.Our study suggests a contributing role for HBV, HCV, H. pylori, T. gondii and CMV in inducing ABD in the genetically susceptible host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-535
Number of pages9
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • Bullous pemphigoid
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Hepatitis b virus
  • Hepatitis c virus
  • Pemphigus
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Treponema pallidum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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