‘…a team from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital shows that exposure to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), best known for causing mononucleosis, appears to boost the risk of developing seven other diseases in individuals who inherited predisposing gene variants. Those autoimmune diseases are lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes.…’
EBV infection is so prevalent that an estimated 90% of the population carries its genetic signature. Most infection is asymptomatic. Once introduced into the body, the virus inserts a copy of its genome into B-lymphocytes of the immune system. Whenever the B cell replicates, a copy of the viral genome is passed on. A protein coded for by the EBV genetic sequence appress to consistently attach itself to areas of the host DNA near risk sequences for the severn autoimmune diseases, increasing the likelihood that they will be activated. In other words, EBV-dreived proteins are a trigger for switching on disease-carrying mutations in B cells that might otherwise never have been expressed.