This chapter begins with a brief overview of infection and autoimmunity in the eye that is followed by specific examples of infections and autoimmunity in the retina. It reviews the evidence that three distinct classes of infectious agents have been implicated in the development of autoimmune processes within the retina. These data also indicate that distinct pathogenic mechanisms are involved in the induction of autoimmunity triggered by these three organisms. In T. gondii infections, the persistence and chronic reactivation of the organism is probably responsible for the introduction and presentation of sequestered retinal epitopes to the immune system. In O. volvulus infections, molecular mimicry between the organism and human RPE protein may contribute to the retinal pathology. In ECOR, similar processes are induced in coronavirus-infected mice displaying either retinal degeneration susceptibility or retina degeneration resistance. This chapter also highlights two human diseases triggered by Onchocerca volvulus or Toxoplasma gondii and an experimental model referred to as experimental coronavirus retinopathy (ECOR), triggered by the murine coronavirus, which is the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)