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Open Access Research article

Lack of autoantibody production associated with cytomegalovirus infection

Beth C Marshall1, Richard A McPherson2, Eric Greidinger3, Robert Hoffman3 and Stuart P Adler1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, USA

2 Department of Pathology, Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, USA

3 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA

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Arthritis Res 2002, 4:R6  doi:10.1186/ar429

Published: 20 June 2002

Abstract

To confirm an association between cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and the presence of antibodies to Smith (Sm), to ribonucleoprotein (RNP), and to a component of the U1 ribonucleoproteins (U1-70 kD), we measured antibodies to these protein antigens using an enzyme immunoassay and an immunoblot. The antibodies were measured in the sera of 80 healthy subjects, one-half of whom were naturally CMV seropositive and one-half were CMV seronegative, and in eight subjects immunized with a live attenuated strain of CMV. None of the vaccinees developed antibodies to Sm, to RNP, or to U1-70 kD at either 4 or 12 months after immunization. Additionally, there was no statistically significant association between levels of antibodies to Sm or to RNP and between sera obtained from vaccinees, natural CMV seropositive individuals, and CMV seronegative individuals. One CMV seropositive serum and one CMV seronegative serum tested positive for antibodies to U1-70 kD. These data indicate that neither wild-type infection nor the live-attenuated Towne vaccine frequently induce autoantibody production.

Keywords:
autoantibodies; cytomegalovirus; RNP antigen; Sm antigen; U1-70kD