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September 25, 1972

Collagen Diseases, Hepatitis-Associated Antigen, and The Epstein-Barr Virus

Author Affiliations

New York State Department of Health Albany
Kenneth Soike Albany Medical College

JAMA. 1972;221(13):1517-1518. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200260053027

To the Editor.—  The search for a causal relation between collagen diseases and auto-immune systems has extended to two new antigen-antibody complexes. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antibodies in sera of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)1 have been reported.Hepatitis-associated antigen (HAA) has been found in sera of patients with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN),2 RA,3 and SLE.4 Gocke and co-workers2 demonstrated by immunofluorescence an immune complex of HAA, IgM globulin, and β complement in a biopsy from the arterial wall of a patient with PAN. It is well known that arthralgia and clinical arthritis occur in the prodromal period of viral hepatitis.Sera from 54 patients with collagen disease were tested for EBV antibodies by the method of Henle and Henle,5 for HAA by immunoelectrophoresis (cellulose acetate membrane), and by the hemagglutination assay of Vyas and Shulman.6The Table summarizes the