Subject: Re: possible reason for the link between infection and arthritus
Colin - there is a genetic link - there are specific genes for RA, AS, Celiac.
...and Patricia, my understanding is that the infection links directly to the diseases - and they have identified specific bacteria (or viruses or dietary proteins) that trigger and drive different autoimmune diseases - because they carry the same amino protein sequences as are carried on the human gene.
It's called Molecular Mimicry. In RA one of the genes is HLA-DRB1 - and one protein sequence is QKRAA.
From 1996 ! - describing the use of Minocyline (explains the genetics well)
Sero-positive RA is a result of Epitope Spreading where the immune system creates antibodies via a different route that are similar to to the original antigen.
Having the genes - or having these bacteria do not mean we will get an autoimmune disease as many with our genes do not succumb. The gene only makes you susceptible - there are other factors - also influenced by the environment / toxins / mineral status in the gut and these control the way antigens are presented to the immune system - and then govern the initial T-Cell and B-Cell response to an antigen and then self.
If you withdraw the original antigen or cross reactive proteins for long enough - the immune system will eventually "delete" the antibodies that were created without a full affinity to the original infection. This is called "Clonal Deletion".
The immune system will be reactivated if the original antigen is presented later on.
This is why Intestinal Permeability is so important - and why I say that many NSAID's are a true double edge sword.
In my AS the gene is HLA-B27 and rarely HLA-B39.