New way viruses trigger autoimmunity discovered

Roseolovirus particles emerge from an infected immune cell (above). Studying mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that roseolovirus can trigger autoimmunity in a previously unknown way: by disrupting the process by which immune cells learn to avoid targeting their own body's cells and tissues.
View Content

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Type 1 diabetes are thought to arise when people with a genetic susceptibility to autoimmunity encounter something in the environment that triggers their immune systems to attack their own bodies. Scientists have made progress in identifying genetic factors that put people at risk, but the environmental triggers have proven more elusive.