Recent reports have shown that dry eye in Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is associated with reactivation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in lacrimal glands. However, the number of patients examined were few and it has not been determined whether dry eye in the absence of SS is also related to EBV reactivation. The authors examined the serum antibody titers to EBV in three groups of patients: (1) simple dry eye (SDE)-dry eye with no circulating autoantibodies (n == 157), (2) autoimmune positive dry eye (ADE)-dry eye with circulating autoantibodies (n == 68), and (3) Sjögren's syndrome (SS)-dry eye associated with Sjögren's syndrome (n == 62). Healthy volunteers were recruited as controls (n == 47). In SS, the mean antibody titers to EBV nuclear antigen (anti-EBNA), early antigen (anti-EA-IgG), and virus capsid antigen (anti-VCA-IgG) were significantly elevated compared to those of controls. No significant differences in antibody titers were found among ADE, SDE, and the controls. The EBV reactivated pattern was found in 17.7% of SS, which was significantly higher than the 4.4% in ADE, 1.9% in SDE, 0% in controls. These findings suggest an association of EBV with SS, but not ADE or SDE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy