So far, only two retroviruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (type 1 and 2) and human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), have been recognized as pathogenic for humans. Both viruses mainly infect CD4+ T lymphocytes. HIV replication induces the apoptosis of CD4 lymphocytes, leading to the development of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). After a long clinical latency period, HTLV-1 can transform lymphocytes, with subsequent uncontrolled proliferation and the manifestation of a disease called adult T-cell leukemia (ATLL). Certain infected patients develop neurological autoimmune disorder called HTLV-1-associated myelopathy, also known as tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Both viruses are transmitted between individuals via blood transfusion, tissue/organ transplantation, breastfeeding, and sexual intercourse. Within the host, these viruses can spread utilizing either cell-free or cell-to-cell modes of transmission. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms and importance of each mode of transmission for the biology of HIV-1 and HTLV-1.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that has detrimental effects on patient’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Owing to its immense heterogeneity of symptoms and its complexity regarding comorbidity burden, management of SLE necessitates interdisciplinary care, with the goal being the best possible HRQoL and long-term outcomes. Current definitions of remission, low disease activity, and response to treatment do not incorporate self-reported patient evaluation, while it has been argued that the physician’s global assessment should capture the patient’s perspective. However, even the judgment of a very well-trained physician might not replace a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM), not only owing to the multidimensionality of self-perceived health experience but also since this notion would constitute a direct contradiction to the definition of PROMs. The proper use of PROMs is not only an important conceptual issue but also an opportunity to build bridges in the partnership between patients and physicians. These points of consideration adhere to the overall framework that there will seldom be one single best marker that helps interpret the activity, severity, and impact of SLE at the same time. For optimal outcomes, we not only stress the importance of the use of PROMs but also emphasize the urgency of adoption of the conception of forming alliances with patients and facilitating patient participation in surveillance and management processes. Nevertheless, this should not be misinterpreted as a transfer of responsibility from healthcare professionals to patients but rather a step towards shared decision-making.
Myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission, can lead to varying degrees of weakness and fatigability of the skeletal musculature. Juvenile myasthenia gravis accounts for 10–15% of all cases of myasthenia gravis. The clinical presentation of juvenile myasthenia gravis varies tremendously, which presents itself as a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. We report a case of a 15-year-old female with mild intermittent asthma presenting with shortness of breath. Acute onset of dyspnea is a common chief complaint amongst the pediatric population with a broad differential diagnosis. Our patient was presumptively treated for status asthmaticus and required invasive mechanical ventilation. After extubating, the patient showed persistent ptosis, which led to the eventual work-up of myasthenia gravis. Upon further review, this patient had months of intermittent symptoms including ptosis and fatigue which went previously undiagnosed. This case demonstrates that dyspnea in an asthmatic can occur from nonairway processes and, if missed, may result in overtreatment of asthma or delayed diagnosis of an important neuromuscular process.
Although autoimmunity contributes to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), several lines of evidence challenge the dogma that it is mainly an autoimmune disorder. As RA-associated human leukocyte antigens shape microbiomes and increase the risk of dysbiosis in mucosae, RA might rather be induced by epigenetic changes in long-lived synovial presenting cells, stressed by excessive translocations into joints of bacteria from the poorly cultivable gut, lung, or oral microbiota (in the same way as more pathogenic bacteria can lead to “reactive arthritis”). This narrative review (i) lists evidence supporting this scenario, including the identification of DNA from oral and gut microbiota in the RA synovium (but in also healthy synovia), and the possibility of translocation through blood, from mucosae to joints, of microbiota, either directly from the oral cavity or from the gut, following an increase of gut permeability worsened by migration within the gut of oral bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis; (ii) suggests other methodologies for future works other than cross-sectional studies of periodontal microbiota in cohorts of patients with RA versus controls, namely, longitudinal studies of oral, gut, blood, and synovial microbiota combined with transcriptomic analyses of immune cells in individual patients at risk of RA, and in overt RA, before, during, and following flares of RA.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder that affects neuromuscular transmission, causing generalized or localized weakness characterized by fatigue. Myasthenia gravis is most commonly associated with antibodies to the acetylcholine receptor (AChR) on the motor end plate in the postsynaptic neuron. This article aims to determine the appropriate neurointensive management in patients with myasthenia gravis with complications of myasthenic crisis. The writing of this article includes various sources originating from scientific journals and government guidelines and related agencies. Source searches were carried out on online portals for journal publications such as MedScape, Google Scholar (scholar.google.com) and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov), with the keyword “Myasthenia Gravis”. The management of myasthenia gravis can be done in various ways, namely, mechanical intubation and ventilation, non-invasive ventilation, pridostigmine as an anticholinesterase inhibitor, immunosuppressant therapy, short term immunotherapy, intravenous immunoglobulin, and surgical therapy. In the treatment of myasthenia gravis, the main goal is to restore muscle condition, especially patient productivity where the management of myasthenia gravis consists of management of myasthenic crisis, cholinergic crisis, symptoms, immunosuppressant therapy, and thymectomy surgical therapy if a tumor is indicated.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation and bone erosion. The exact mechanism of RA is still unknown, but various immune cytokines, signaling pathways and effector cells are involved. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are commonly used in RA treatment and classified into different categories. Nevertheless, RA treatment is based on a “trial-and-error” approach, and a substantial proportion of patients show failed therapy for each DMARD. Over the past decades, great efforts have been made to overcome treatment failure, including identification of biomarkers, exploration of the reasons for loss of efficacy, development of sequential or combinational DMARDs strategies and approval of new DMARDs. Here, we summarize these efforts, which would provide valuable insights for accurate RA clinical medication. While gratifying, researchers realize that these efforts are still far from enough to recommend specific DMARDs for individual patients. Precision medicine is an emerging medical model that proposes a highly individualized and tailored approach for disease management. In this review, we also discuss the potential of precision medicine for overcoming RA treatment failure, with the introduction of various cutting-edge technologies and big data.
AbstractCoagulation factor V (or FV for the purpose of medical safety) is an essential cofactor of coagulation factor X in the common pathway of coagulation; severe FV deficiency leads to a bleeding tendency. Although both congenital and acquired FV deficiencies are widely recognized, FV deficiency also presents as an autoimmune disorder. A nationwide survey on autoimmune coagulation factor deficiencies (AiCFDs) conducted in Japan by our Japanese Collaborative Research Group identified 24 new patients with autoimmune FV deficiency (AiFVD) in the past 5 years. Furthermore, our extensive literature search confirmed that 177 AiFVD cases have been reported in previous articles published from Japan. Patients with AiFVD in Japan were predominantly men, with age similar to those with other AiCFDs. AiFVD was confirmed as a relatively mild type of bleeding diathesis, associated with lower mortality rate than that for AiFVD and other AiCFDs reported in previous studies. Patients with AiFVD had variable FV inhibitor titers and both neutralizing anti-FV autoantibodies and nonneutralizing counterparts. Although spontaneous resolution occurs in some patients, timely initiation of hemostatic and immunosuppressive therapies helps arrest the bleeding and eliminate anti-FV antibodies, resulting in a high cumulative recovery rate. Immunological anti-FV antibody detection is recommended to avoid missing AiFVD cases for the presence of nonneutralizing anti-FV autoantibodies. Further investigation is necessary to clarify the long-term prognosis and optimal management of AiFVD.
Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an acquired autoimmune disorder characterized by low platelet count and increased bleeding risk. COVID-19 vaccination has been described as risk factor for de novo ITP, but the effects of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with ITP are unknown. Our aims were to investigate the effects of COVID-19 vaccination in ITP patients on platelet count, bleeding complications and ITP exacerbation (any of: ≥50% decline in platelet count; or nadir platelet count <30x109/L with >20% decrease from baseline; or use of rescue therapy). Platelet counts of ITP patients and healthy controls were collected immediately before, 1 and 4 weeks after first and second vaccination. Linear mixed-effects modelling was applied to analyze platelet counts over time. We included 218 ITP patients (50.9% female, mean age 55 years and median platelet count of 106x109/L) and 200 healthy controls (60.0% female, mean age 58 years and median platelet count of 256x109/L). Platelet counts decreased by 6.3% after vaccination. We observed no difference in decrease between the groups. Thirty ITP patients (13.8%, 95%CI 9.5%-19.1%) had an exacerbation and 5 (2.2%, 95%CI 0.7%-5.3%) suffered from a bleeding event. Risk factors for ITP exacerbation were platelet count <50x109/L (OR 5.3, 95%CI 2.1-13.7), ITP treatment at time of vaccination (OR 3.4, 95%CI 1.5-8.0) and age (OR 0.96 per year, 95%CI 0.94-0.99). Our study highlights safety of COVID-19 vaccination in ITP patients and importance of close monitoring platelet counts in a subgroup of ITP patients. ITP patients with exacerbation responded well on therapy.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an acquired neurological autoimmune disorder characterized by dysfunctional transmission at the neuromuscular junction, with its etiology associated with genetic and environmental factors. Anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells (Tregs) and pro-inflammatory T helper 17 (Th17) cells functionally antagonize each other, and the immune imbalance between them contributes to the pathogenesis of MG. Among the numerous factors influencing the balance of Th17/Treg cells, the gut microbiota have received attention from scholars. Gut microbial dysbiosis and altered microbial metabolites have been seen in patients with MG. Therefore, correcting Th17/Treg imbalances may be a novel therapeutic approach to MG by modifying the gut microbiota. In this review, we initially review the association between Treg/Th17 and the occurrence of MG and subsequently focus on recent findings on alterations of gut microbiota and microbial metabolites in patients with MG. We also explore the effects of gut microbiota on Th17/Treg balance in patients with MG, which may provide a new direction for the prevention and treatment of this disease.