Involvement of viral infections in the development of non-communicable diseases

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Around 95% of humans are exposed to human herpesvirus-6 and -7 (HHV-6, HHV-7) during early childhood. After the primary infection viruses can establish life-long persistency without visible clinical changes, however the factors reactivating viral infection from latency and role of these beta-herpesviruses in the development of non-communicable diseases are not completely clarified.
Several reports based on epidemiological, immunological, molecular biological and morphological evidences support the hypothesis that HHV-6A/B and HHV-7 could be potential triggers of autoimmune diseases development, such as rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune thyroiditis as well as diseases associated with nervous system - fibromyalgia, encephalopathy and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Two well-explored explanations for autoimmunity after viral infection are molecular mimicry and the bystander effect. In molecular mimicry, similarities between a viral protein and a cellular protein result in immune cells mistakenly attacking the body, while in the bystander effect, the high level of inflammation induced by viral infection activates immune cells and leads them to attack healthy tissue.
In a similar manner to mentioned human beta-herpesviruses also SARS-CoV-2 may have the ability to contribute to autoimmunity. Numerous records demonstrate the likelihood of COVID-19 patients to develop over 15 separate types of autoantibodies along with above 10 distinct autoimmune diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2022
Event8th National Conference with International Participation "Morphological Days" - The National Anthropological Museum, 73 Blvd. "Tsarigradsko shouse", Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
Duration: 10 Jun 202212 Jun 2022
Conference number: 8


Conference8th National Conference with International Participation "Morphological Days"
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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