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Is Sjogren’s syndrome a retroviral disease? – Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, Apr 13, 2011

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Circumstantial evidence suggests that retroviruses play a role in the pathogenesis of [the autoimmune disorder] Sjögren’s syndrome.*

Such evidence, derived from studies of patients with Sjögren’s syndrome, includes the following:

• The presence of serum antibodies cross-reactive with retroviral Gag proteins;

• The occurrence of reverse transcriptase activity in salivary glands;

• The detection of retroviral antigens, retrovirus-like particles, or novel retroviral sequences in salivary glands;

• The occurrence of Sjögren’s syndrome-like illnesses in patients having confirmed systematic infections with retroviruses such as human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) and human T lymphotropic virus type 1;

• And the beneficial effect of anti-retroviral treatment on the occurrence of HIV-1-associated sicca syndrome.

Additional evidence is provided by animal models.

*[Note: Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disorder affecting the body’s moisture producing glands & organs, and marked especially by dry eyes, and mouth. (Because immune cells attack the saliva and tear glands.) Other symptoms can include fatigue, joint pain, digestive problems, tingling & burning hands & feet. Often undiagnosed it is the second most common autoimmune condition after rheumatoid arthritis, and is often mistaken for (or perhaps accompanies) fibromyalgia, RA, and chronic fatigue syndrome. See www.sjogrensworld.org for information on its diagnosis, and more.]

Source: Arthritis Research & Therapy, Apr 13, 2011-04-28. DOI:10.1186/ar3262, by Sipsas NV, Gamaletsou MN, Moutsopoulos HM. [Email: nsipsas@med.uoa.gr]

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