Causes of Scleroderma: Infection

Infection (General)
Bacterial Infections
Borrelia Burgdorferi

Persistent Infection Study
Viral Infection


Researchers have long suspected an infection component may be involved as the trigger of some cases of scleroderma and there is an ongoing study about persistent infection as a possible cause of scleroderma.

Infection and Rheumatic Diseases (General)

Autoimmune/auto-inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA) after quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination in Colombians: a call for personalised medicine. Our results highlight the risk of developing ASIA after HPV vaccination and may serve to increase the awareness of such a complication. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2015 Jul-Aug;33(4):545-8.

Bacterial Infections

Certain Bacteria May Trigger Inflammation. "We can say we have preliminary results looking at a particular set of bacteria that may seem present at a higher abundance in patients with RA,” Dr. Scher says. “Now we have the technological tools to look at this question, but we can not say we have an answer yet.” Jennifer Davis. Arthritis Today. 12/02/10.

Reversible IgA deficiency after severe Gram-negative bacteria infection in a patient with systemic sclerosis. Although the mechanism of secondary IgAD is still vague, its association with autoimmune diseases including SSc and also with bacterial infection is discussed. (Springerlink) Masato Yagita. Modern Rheumatology, 27 September 2010. (Also see Antibodies)

Lack of Evidence for Bacterial Infections in Skin in Patients With Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). The data presented here do not support the contention that persistent bacterial infections play an important role in the pathogenesis of SSc. M.D. Mayes. Am J Med Sci. 2009 Apr;337(4):233-5.

Borrelia Burgdorferi Infection

Borrelia-associated early-onset morphea: A particular type of scleroderma in childhood and adolescence with high titer antinuclear antibodies? Results of a cohort analysis and presentation of three cases. We observed a statistically highly significant association between morphea, serologic evidence of Borrelia infection, and high-titer antinuclear antibodies when disease onset was in childhood or adolescence. J. C. Prinz. Journal of the American Academcy of Dermatology. Volume 60, Issue 2, Pages 248-255 (February 2009). (Also see Morphea)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS

HIV infection associated with scleroderma: report of two new cases. In this report, we describe the rare association of linear scleroderma of the four limbs in two HIV patients also affected with virus C hepatitis. J A Mosquera. J Clin Pathol 2010;63:852-853.

Nanobacteria (NB) or "Nanoparticles"

This is a very new field of research which is highly controversial.

A few researchers suspect that nanobacteria may be a cause of scleroderma or some of its symptoms, such as calcinosis.

A lot of the controversy surrounding nanobacteria has to do with its very name, in that some researchers do not believe that it represents a life form and thus cannot properly be named "bacteria", because the research on its purported nucleic acid has not been completed yet. Thus, some believe that "nanoparticles" would be a better description for it.

This is a very new field of research which is highly controversial, however it has recently attracted the attention of researchers at the Mayo Clinic and NASA. Nanobacteria have been found in kidney stones, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, prostatitis, and some cancers.

Detection of nanobacteria-like material from calcified cardiac valves with rheumatic heart disease. The nanobacteria-like material has been isolated and cultured from calcified cardiac valves with rheumatic heart disease, and its characteristics are similar to those of Se90. Hu YR. (PubMed) Cardiovasc Pathol. 2009 Sep 9.

Persistent Infection in Systemic Sclerosis

Lack of evidence for bacterial infections in skin in patients with systemic sclerosis. While some caveats apply, the data presented here do not support the contention that persistent bacterial infections play an important role in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Am J Med Sci. 2009 April; 337(4): 233-235.

Viral Infection

Viruses 'more likely to lead to infection' in the morning, says report. Viruses are 10 times more likely to cause illness in their victims if the infection is contracted in the morning, and late nights increase the impact even further, according to a study by the University of Cambridge. The Independent, 08/18/2016.

Acute and regressive scleroderma concomitant to an acute cytomegalovirus (CMV) primary infection. Our observation suggests a potential triggering role of CMV primary infection in the development of scleroderma. Journal of Clinical Virology, 10/20/2014.

Screening of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in women with systemic sclerosis (SSc). This study is the first to evaluate HPV status in women with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and researchers found that HR HPV52 was the most common genotype with a greater multi-HPV infection rate. PubMed, Clin Exp Rheumatol, 2014 Aug 15.

Human Parvovirus B19 (B19V) Infection in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) Patients. Our previous reports suggested a possible association between parvovirus B19 (B19V) infection and SSc, based on higher prevalence of B19V DNA in SSc patients in respect to controls. The recent study outlines some differences in the rate of persistence of B19V DNA, in the simultaneous persistence of 2 genotypes and in the pattern of viral expression among SSc patients and controls. Krystyna Zakrzewska. Intervirology. Vol. 52, No. 5, 2009.

Go to Causes of Scleroderma: Mercury (Dental Amalgam)
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