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Clinical Report

Prevalence of Skin-specific Autoantibodies in HIV-infected Patients and Uninfected Controls

Veronique Touzeau-Roemer, Michael Skoll, Pooja Tajpara, Philip Kienzl, Antonia Wesinger, Simona Saluzzo, Martin Bauer, Maximilian C. Aichelburg, Christine Bangert, Wolfgang Bauer, Georg Stingl, Armin Rieger, Katharina Grabmeier-Pfistershammer, Christopher Schuster
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3251

Preview of fully accepted paper, still not published in any volume

Abstract

Various autoantibodies are detected more frequently in HIV-infected individuals than in HIV-negative controls; however, limited data exist regarding autoimmune blistering skin diseases. Using enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) and indirect immunofluore­scence, no difference in the frequency and magnitude of autoantibodies against BP180, BP230, desmoglein 1 and 3 was found between 594 HIV-infected patients and 248 uninfected controls in this cross-sectional study (16.0% vs. 11.7%, respectively, for at least one positive ELISA, p = 0.11). Interestingly, reactive syphilis serology in both HIV-infected individuals and uninfected controls was associated with positive anti-BP180 ELISA results (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07–4.29, p = 0.03 and OR 4.70, CI 1.3–16.86; p = 0.0180). Our study shows a comparably low prevalence of cutaneous autoantibodies in both HIV-infected patients and uninfected controls lacking signs of autoimmune blistering skin disease. Positive BP180 ELISA in the absence of clinical signs of bullous pemphigoid should prompt further evaluation for syphilis antibodies.

Significance

The simultaneous occurrence of HIV-related immunodeficiency and autoimmune diseases is clearly documented. This cross-sectional study including 594 HIV-infected patients and 248 healthy controls lacking signs of autoimmune blistering skin diseases evaluated the frequency, titres and combinational appearance of autoantibodies directed against BP180, BP230, desmoglein 1 and 3, and showed no differences between the 2 patient groups. Interestingly, reactive syphilis serology in both HIV-infected individuals and uninfected controls was associated with positive anti-BP180 ELISA results, prompting a further evaluation for syphilis antibodies in patients with positive BP180 ELISA results and no clinical signs of bullous pemphigoid.

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