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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.

Serious Infections in People With Systemic Sclerosis: A National US Study. Outcomes in people with SSc hospitalized with serious infections have improved over time. PubMed, Arthritis Res Ther, 2020 Jun 29;22(1):163.

Infection and Rheumatic Diseases (General)

Suspected adverse effects after human papillomavirus vaccination: a temporal relationship. Our study has shown that the period of HPV vaccination considerably overlapped with that of unique postvaccination symptom development. PubMed, Immunol Res, 2018 Dec;66(6):723-725.

Bacterial Infections

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. (Also see Antibodies)

Borrelia Burgdorferi Infection

Case Report: 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. (Also see Morphea)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS

Case Report: 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.

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.

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.

Viral Infection

Serological Evidence for the Association Between Epstein-Barr Virus Infection and Sjögren's Syndrome (SjS). The findings from this study provide strong serological evidence for the association between EBV infection and SjS. PubMed, Front Immunol, 2020 Oct 30;11:590444. (Also see Sjögren's Syndrome)

Impact of Human Cytomegalovirus and Human Herpesvirus 6 Infection on the Expression of Factors Associated with Cell Fibrosis and Apoptosis: Clues for Implication in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) Development. Notably, several recognized pro-fibrotic factors were highly induced, and most of them were reported to be involved in vivo in the multifactorial and multistep pathogenic process of SSc. PubMed, Int J Mol Sci, 2020 Sep 3;21(17):6397.

A comprehensive analysis of antigen-specific antibody responses against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). More prevalent and/or stronger antigen-specific HCMV responses are noted in SSc compared to controls, implying a role of these viral responses in SSc development. PubMed, Clin Immunol, 2019 Oct;207:87-96.

Go to Causes of Scleroderma: Mercury (Dental Amalgam)

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