PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Infections have been suggested to contribute to disease induction and reactivation in many of the idiopathic vasculitides. This review describes and evaluates the evidence that microbes are involved in the etiopathogenesis of these diseases.
RECENT FINDINGS: Large-vessel vasculitis has recently been associated with two specific bacteria. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is thought to have an inducing role in Takayasu arteritis and a Burkholderia bacterium might be involved in giant cell arteritis. Hepatitis B and C viruses have been linked to polyarteritis nodosa. In antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis, and more specifically granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), Staphylococcus aureus has been the focus of many studies. Chronic nasal carriage of S. aureus is related to endonasal activity and disease relapses in GPA patients. Moreover, antibacterial treatment is known to reduce the risk for disease relapses. If and how pathogens trigger vasculitis is still unclear, but several potential mechanisms have been suggested and are briefly reviewed here.
SUMMARY: Although many observations suggest a link between infections and the development of vasculitis, no direct proof exists. Transcriptomic and proteomic studies of the pathogens involved could aid in identifying specific or common traits of pathogens that are relevant for the development and reactivation of vasculitis.
- granulomatosis with polyangiitis
- hepatitis B and C virus
- Staphylococcus aureus
- systemic vasculitis
- HENOCH-SCHONLEIN PURPURA
- HEPATITIS-C VIRUS
- SECRETING STAPHYLOCOCCUS-AUREUS
- HELICOBACTER-PYLORI INFECTION
- MIXED CRYOGLOBULINEMIA
- CONSENSUS CONFERENCE