Several liver diseases, including autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), are considered autoimmune diseases. While the etiology of these diseases remains to be defined, each is characterized by an abnormal immune response, involving antibody response and T cell response targeted at self antigens. Considering the relative rarity of autoimmune liver diseases, they are likely to be the consequence of multiple events, each of them resulting from the interaction of certain environmental factors and the genetic background of the host. Viral and bacterial infections are some of the environmental factors that have been implicated in this complex process. Identification of the infectious etiology for autoimmune liver diseases will point to new preventive or therapeutic interventions. For the acute infection with the potential of initiating autoimmunity, antiviral or antibiotic treatments may prevent the induction of autoimmune diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)