Document Type: Original Article(s)
Department of Immunology
School of Medicine
Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Department of Rheumatology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Background: The etiology of the Behçet disease (BD) has remained obscured. There have been studies to show the association of BD to infections like herpes simplex, hepatitis, and parvovirus B19 however, the findings are rather controversial.Materials and Methods: We selected 55 patients with the best matched symptoms of BD and measured the loads of B19 DNA in their plasma by quantitative real time PCR and verified their seropositivity by ELISA. All findings were compared to the results from 42 healthy persons.Results: Patients showed a wide spectrum of BD symptoms. Serologic studies showed high prevalence of B19 IgG among the tested patients which was not statistically different with the healthy population (72.7% vs. 85.7%, respectively). Similarly, the prevalence of B19 IgM between patients and controls was not different (18% vs. 11.9%, respectively). No correlation was found between the presence of anti-B19 antibodies and the clinical observations. Only one person from the patient and control groups had detectable levels of B19 DNA without any difference or correlation with the disease symptoms.Conclusion: Our data could not establish an association between B19 parvovirus infection and Behçet disease, although there have been reports of such correlation. Nevertheless, there might be indirect relation in genetically susceptible individuals after viral infections. More studies on designed animal models and surveys on patients should be done to resolve this controversy.