West Nile virus induces a post-infectious pro-inflammatory state that explains transformation of stable ocular myasthenia gravis to myasthenic crises

Maximiliano A. Hawkes, Sara E. Hocker, A. Arturo Leis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

West Nile virus (WNV) infection has been reported to promote myasthenia gravis (MG) and various other diseases that have a presumed autoimmune pathogenesis. Molecular mimicry between WNV proteins and host proteins has been postulated as the major mechanism for WNV-triggered breaking of immunological self-tolerance. We present a patient with stable ocular MG and positive anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies who progressed to myasthenic crisis after WNV neuroinvasive disease. In this case of stable autoimmune disease with proven auto-antibodies, transformation to generalized disease cannot be attributed to molecular mimicry, which requires that an immune response first be generated against an infectious agent. Rather, the evidence supports the concept of a post-infectious pro-inflammatory state that may contribute to the amplification and promotion of autoimmune disease in some WNV survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Volume395
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autoimmunity
  • Inflammation
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myasthenic crisis
  • Neuroinvasive disease
  • Post-infectious
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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