|Posted by Margaret Donohue on December 24, 2015 at 1:30 PM|
Autoimmune disorders and viral infections are strongly linked together. There are more than 80 identified autoimmune diseases. Viruses, bacteria and other types of infections are recognized as major environmental triggers for the body starting to attack itself.
Chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) one of a type of herpes virus that causes mild flu-like symptoms has been linked to the development of Sjogren’s syndrome. Sjogren’s syndrome is the second most common autoimmune disease in humans impacting more than 4 million people in the United States. Sjogren's syndrome causes dry eyes, a dry mouth, and can cause joint pain, increased dental decay, swollen salivary glands, vaginal dryness, persistent cough and fatigue.
The research showing some of the mechanisms for the linkage may help with future treatments.
Research: Anne Halenius and Hartmut Hengel, “Human Cytomegalovirus and Autoimmune Disease,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2014, Article ID 472978, 15 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/472978