The presence of anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies has been linked with autoimmunity in general and with several autoimmune diseases (AID) in particular. In the current study we evaluated these antibodies in a wide spectrum of AID as well as the links between them and anti-infectious antibodies.
In a large cohort of patients with autoimmune diseases we found an association between anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies and 6 autoimmune diseases, amongst which primary APS and PM. Additionally, we observed linkages between these autoantibodies and anti-infectious antibodies directed at Epstein-Barr virus, toxoplasma and cytomegalovirus. Our findings support the concept of interplay between infectious agents and autoimmunity, such as the plausibility of an infectious agent that trigger the immune system to produce specific antibodies which will later result in a unique group of AID.