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September 1977

Search for a Causal Agent of Psoriasis by Seroepidemiologic Methods

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(9):1287-1288. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640090135024

The cause of psoriasis is unknown, 1 although one current hypothesis is that it is an inherited disease. Identical twin studies and clinical observations suggest that environmental factors are involved. The idea that this disease might be due to an infectious agent has been reported in the literature at various times. Zech and Lagerholm1 reported virus-like particles in electron photomicrographs of psoriatic scales that were not present in the unaffected epidermis of psoriatic or normal skin. In 1971 Pozdnyakov2 reported the isolation of a cytopathogenic agent for human epithelial-2 cells from the blood of patients in the progressive stage of the disease. Varelzidis and Theodoridis3 reported an increase in serum IgA levels in patients with psoriasis, which returned to normal when the lesions were resolved by ultraviolet light therapy. In 1974 Stankler4 found that the sera of patients who recovered from active psoriasis contained a factor

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