Exposure to Epstein-Barr Virus Infection Is Associated with Mild Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease
Infections may act as environmental triggers for the induction of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In this study, we determine the relationship between disease manifestations of SLE patients and the titers of five Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) Abs. We evaluated the titers of early antigen IgG (EAG), nuclear antigen IgG, viral capsid antigen (VCA) IgG and IgM, and heterophile IgM, using the BioPlex 2200 multiplexed immunoassay method in 260 sera (120 SLE patients and 140 controls). EAG titers were significantly elevated (P < 0.024) in patients with cutaneous symptoms and increased anti-Ro antibody titers (P < 0.005). VCA IgG titers were significantly elevated (P < 0.003) in patients with joint involvement. None of the titers differed by central nervous system or renal involvement or antiphospholipid syndrome. We conclude that exposure to EBV infection may predict a disease phenotype of mild SLE disease with cutaneous and joint manifestations and elevated titers of anti-Ro Abs.