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BACKGROUND Systemic sclerosis is an autoimmune disease characterized by immunological abnormalities, vascular damage, and fibroblast proliferation. We have previously shown that a molecular mimicry mechanism links antibodies against the human-cytomegalovirus-derived protein UL94 to the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis. The UL94 epitope shows homology with(More)
BACKGROUND Chronic idiopathic urticaria is a common skin disorder characterized by recurrent, transitory, itchy weals for more than 6 weeks. An autoimmune origin has been suggested based on the findings of auto-antibodies (Abs) directed against either the alpha subunit of the high-affinity IgE receptor or the IgE molecule in nearly half of the patients. (More)
BACKGROUND Human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) is involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. We have previously shown in patients with atherosclerosis that antibodies directed against the hCMV-derived proteins US28 and UL122 are able to induce endothelial cell damage and apoptosis of non-stressed endothelial cells through cross-rection with normally(More)
Intravesical instillation of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is used in the treatment of patients with intermediate and high-risk superficial bladder carcinoma with efficacy and safety. The vast majority of patients do not present any side effects and only 5% of patients have mild and short-lived clinical manifestations such as malaise, low-grade fever,(More)
We studied HLA-DRB1 alleles in 101 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 229 normal subjects by polymerase chain reaction and sequence-specific oligonuclotide hybridization. We observed a statistically significant association between HLA-DR4 and RA (p = 0,0088). This association was not observed for the DR1 status. No particular DR4 suballeles were(More)
Schnitzler's syndrome is a rare clinical condition characterized by chronic urticaria, intermittent fever, bone pain, arthralgia or arthritis, and monoclonal immunoglobulin M (IgM) gammopathy. Here we describe the case of a 48-year-old Italian female with a long history of arthralgia, leucocytosis, spiking fever, and chronic urticaria with severe pruritus.(More)
Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by lymphocytic infiltration and tissue damage mainly confined to the salivary and lacrimal glands, resulting in dryness of mouth and eyes. Since different epithelial cells of exocrine and non-exocrine tissues are primarily affected, an autoimmune reaction against antigens commonly expressed in(More)
Human intravenous immunoglobulins (hIVIgs) are used in two broad categories of diseases: immunodeficiency and autoimmunity. Among the immune-mediated diseases hIVIgs are of benefit in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and dermatomyositis. Chronic idiopathic pericarditis (CIP) is a chronic disease of unknown origin(More)
OBJECTIVES To determine whether homocysteine (Hcy) plasma levels are correlated with molecules indicative of endothelial cell and fibroblast activation, including endothelin-1 (ET-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and -3 (MCP-1, MCP-3), in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). METHODS Eighty-two patients were enrolled in this study; the control(More)
OBJECTIVE To amplify both NS1 and VP genes of Parvovirus B19 DNA in synovial membrane (SM) and serum obtained from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to analyze whether the presence of viral DNA is correlated with synovitis. METHODS DNA obtained from 30 SM and 24 serum samples from RA patients was analyzed using single round-polymerase chain(More)