Association of Epstein-Barr virus infection with systemic lupus erythematosus in Taiwan

Lupus. 2007;16(3):168-75. doi: 10.1177/0961203306075800.

Abstract

An association between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has been suggested from previous serologic evidence. Since most adults in Taiwan are EBV-infected, seroepidemiologic studies based on standard assays for EBV are unlikely to dissociate SLE patients and control groups. We reexamine this question by using novel methodologies in which IgA anti-EBV-coded nuclear antigens-1 (EBNA-1) and IgG anti-EBV DNase antibodies were analysed by ELISA, and EBV viral loads were detected by real-time quantitative PCR for 93 adult SLE patients and 370 age-, sex- and living place-matched healthy controls in Taiwan. The specificities of antibodies for extractible nuclear antigens were determined by Western blot. Our results show that IgA anti-EBV EBNA1 antibodies were detectable in 31.2% SLE patients but only in 4.1% of controls (odds ratio [OR] = 10.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.19-22.35; P < 10(-7)), IgG anti-EBV DNase antibodies were detected in 53.8% SLE patients but only in 12.2% controls (OR = 8.40, 95% CI = 4.87-14.51; P < 10(-7)). EBV DNA was amplifiable from the sera of 41.9% SLE patients but from only 3.24% controls (P < 0.05). A significant association of IgG anti-EBV DNase antibodies with anti-Sm/RNP antibodies was observed (P < 0.005). The higher seroreactivity and higher copy numbers of EBV genome indicated association of EBV infection with SLE in Taiwan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Deoxyribonucleases / immunology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens / immunology
  • Genome, Viral
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / enzymology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / virology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear / immunology
  • Taiwan
  • Viral Load
  • snRNP Core Proteins

Substances

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Autoantigens
  • DNA, Viral
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear
  • snRNP Core Proteins
  • Deoxyribonucleases
  • EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1