Hepatitis C virus infection and autoimmune diseases
Marino Paroli,1 Gino Iannucci,2 Daniele Accapezzato2
1Department of Biotechnology and Medical-Surgical Sciences, 2Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Abstract: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with a number of extrahepatic disorders. The most studied conditions associated with HCV are type II mixed cryoglobulinemia and B cell lymphoma. However, many reports suggest that HCV might also be associated with a number of autoimmune disorders, both organ-specific and not organ-specific. Although concomitant treatment of HCV infection is a confounding factor when ascertaining the actual role of HCV in inducing autoimmune disease, a considerable amount of experimental data indicates that HCV is able to subvert the immune system and consequently induce autoimmunity. In the present review, we report a series of observations which associate chronic HCV infection with the onset of autoimmune disorders.
Keywords: hepatitis C virus, immune regulation, autoimmune diseases
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