Herpes viruses in multicase families with rheumatoid arthritis

J Rheumatol. 1995 Nov;22(11):2055-61.


Objective: To investigate the rate and extent of infection by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus, and herpesvirus 6 in families (affected and nonaffected members) with multiple cases of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Viral DNA was detected by polymerase chain amplification in cells from saliva and peripheral blood. Human leukocyte antigen pedigrees were characterized.

Results: Viral DNA, particularly EBV, was detected in increased frequency (p = 0.029) in the patients with RA compare to their nonaffected relatives.

Conclusion: We suggest that in RA multicase families, increased frequency of viral infection is likely a consequence of the disease state and/or due to gene(s) as yet unidentified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alleles
  • Arthritis, Infectious / immunology
  • Arthritis, Infectious / virology*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / virology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / complications*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Family Health*
  • Female
  • HLA Antigens / analysis
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • Herpesviridae / genetics
  • Herpesviridae Infections / complications*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human*
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rheumatoid Factor / analysis
  • Tumor Virus Infections / complications*


  • DNA, Viral
  • HLA Antigens
  • Rheumatoid Factor