Viruses have been implicated in the initiation, progression, and exacerbation of several human autoimmune diseases. Evidence also exists that viruses can protect against autoimmune disease. Several proposed mechanisms explain the viral effects. One mechanism is "molecular mimicry" which represents a shared immunologic epitope with a microbe and the host. We consider, using a simple mathematical model, whether and how a viral infection with molecular mimicry can be beneficial or detrimental for autoimmune disease. Furthermore, we consider the possibility of development of a vector therapeutic vaccine that can relieve autoimmune disease symptoms. Our findings demonstrate that vaccine therapy success necessitates (i) appropriate immune response function, (ii) appropriate affinities with self and non-self antigen, and (iii) a replicative vector vaccine. Moreover, the model shows that the viral infection can cause autoimmune relapses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Statistics and Probability
- Modelling and Simulation
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Applied Mathematics