Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by microvascular injury, excessive extracellular matrix deposition, and fibrosis in the skin and internal organs. Bacterial and viral infectious agents have been suspected to be contributing factors in the development and progression of the pathologic features of SSc. Materials and methods: In this study, 30 SSc patients who were admitted to the rheumatology unit of the Konya Training and Research Hospital and 30 healthy controls were included. The presence of 9 different antibodies (IgM and IgG) against Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and parvovirus B19 were investigated in sera samples obtained from the 60 participants using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. The characteristics of current and past infections with H. pylori, CMV, EBV, and parvovirus B19 were evaluated by determining the seropositivity of the tested bacterial and viral agents. Results: The prevalences of H. pylori, CMV, EBV, and parvovirus B19 were determined to be higher in patients with SSc than in the control group. Conclusion: SSc is associated with a higher rate of certain infections, which deserves further investigation in order to assess the role of infections in disease etiology/pathogenesis.


Systemic sclerosis, infection, etiology

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