Real-Time PCR of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus in adult Egyptian patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.Int J Rheum Dis. 2015 May; 18(4):452-8.IJ
Infections may act as environmental triggers for induction of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We sought to explore the relative frequencies of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human cytomegalovirus (CMV) in adult Egyptian patients with SLE and their correlation with disease activity and damage.
Thirty-three consecutive adult patients satisfying the 1997 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Classification Criteria for SLE and 30 healthy controls were included in this case-control study. All patients were subjected to complete clinical and laboratory evaluation to determine the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) and the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index (SLICC/ACR). Sera from both groups were analyzed for immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies against CMV and EBV. Qualitative real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for both viruses was performed for all SLE patients.
Almost all SLE patients 32/33 (96.9%) were positive for IgG anti-CMV antibodies versus 20/30 in the control group (66.6%) (P = 0.002). All SLE patients were positive for IgG anti-EBV antibodies compared to 25 in the control group (100% vs. 83.3%, P = 0.02). CMV and EBV DNA were detected by PCR in 30.3% and 51.5% of SLE patients, respectively. A statistically significant lower SLEDAI was found in PCR positive patients for EBV compared to negative patients (9.6 ± 5.2 vs. 13.1 ± 3.1, respectively P = 0.041).
Adult Egyptian patients with SLE had higher frequencies of anti-CMV and EBV IgG compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, our single point assessment of SLEDAI suggested that exposure to EBV infection might be associated with a lower disease activity.