Published on February 4, 2010
Author: Hedi Orbach
Author: Nancy Agmon-Levin
Author: Gisele Zandman-Goddard
Systemic and organ derived autoimmune diseases are known to develop following infectious triggers. Recently we have suggested that certain autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may result due to specific viral agents. Furthermore, the spectrum of disease may be influenced by a certain microbial agent in the genetically predisposed individual (Zandman-Goddard et al., 2009).
Vaccines are a prototypic source for natural immune stimulation, but may be involved in pathogenic disease in the setting of aberrant immune system function. Possibly, the burden on the immune system resulting from simultaneous multiple vaccines and even the different types of vaccines may also be an overwhelming challenge in the autoimmune prone individual (Shoenfeld et al., 2008). In this review, we discuss the evidence for the development of autoimmune diseases following infections.
While vaccinations are generally safe, warranted and have virtually eradicated endemic diseases and probably lessened morbidity and mortality, a question arises regarding the evaluation of possible autoimmune phenomena in vaccinated individuals.
Reported post-vaccination autoimmune diseases in the adult include SLE, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory myopathies, multiple sclerosis (MS), Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), and vasculitis. Evidence for the association of vaccinations and the development of these diseases is presented in this review. In addition, we will discuss macrophagic myofasciitis, post aluminum containing vaccines and the recent support for autoimmunity following human papilloma virus vaccine.