Profile of Trypanosoma cruzi Reactivity in a Population at High Risk for Endemic Pemphigus Foliaceus (Fogo Selvagem)

Department of Dermatology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene (Impact Factor: 2.7). 07/2012; 87(4):675-680. DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.12-0206
Source: PubMed


Fogo Selvagem (FS) is an autoimmune bullous disease with pathogenic IgG autoantibodies recognizing desmoglein 1 (Dsg1), a desmosomal glycoprotein. In certain settlements of Brazil, a high prevalence of FS (3%) is reported, suggesting environmental factors as triggers of the autoimmune response. Healthy individuals from endemic areas recognize nonpathogenic epitopes of Dsg1, and exposure to hematophagous insects is a risk factor for FS. Fogo selvagem and Chagas disease share some geographic sites, and anti-Dsg1 has been detected in Chagas patients. Indeterminate Chagas disease was identified in a Brazilian Amerindian population of high risk for FS. In counterpart, none of the FS patients living in the same geographic region showed reactivity against Trypanosoma cruzi. The profile of anti-Dsg1 antibodies showed positive results in 15 of 40 FS sera and in 33 of 150 sera from healthy individuals from endemic FS sites, and no cross-reactivity between Chagas disease and FS was observed.

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Available from: Joaquim Sousa, Jul 26, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Pemphigus are organ-specific autoimmune diseases, where autoantibodies (mainly immunoglobulin [Ig]G) directed against epidermal targets (glycoproteins of the desmosomal core) are detected. Endemic pemphigus foliaceus or fogo selvagem (FS) is one of the variants of pemphigus foliaceus pemphigus foliaceus that shares the same clinical and immunopathological features of the classic non-endemic pemphigus foliaceus form, including pathogenic IgG (mainly IgG4) autoantibodies directed against the ectodomain of desmoglein 1 (Dsg1), that lead to acantholysis. Pathogenesis of FS is complex, involving genetic, environmental and immunological factors. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1 alleles DRB1*0404, *1402, *1406 or *0102 have been previously identified as risk factors for FS (relative risk, >14). Individuals exposed to hematophagous insects are more susceptible to develop the disease. Non-pathogenic anti-Dsg1 antibodies of the IgG1 subclass, directed against the extracellular 5 domain of Dsg1, are detected in patients in the preclinical stage of the disease, and also in healthy controls living in endemic areas. In counterpart, patients with FS show pathogenic anti-Dsg1 IgG4 autoantibodies that bind the pathogenic extracellular 1 and 2 domains of Dsg1, emphasizing the intramolecular epitope-spreading hypothesis. A possible explanation for the development of the autoimmune process would be antigenic mimicry, initiated by environmental stimuli in those genetically predisposed individuals. Characterization of the pathogenesis of FS will allow the development of specific therapeutic targets, and the elucidation of other autoimmune processes.
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