Reovirus infections have possible role in celiac disease

A study published in Science examined reoviruses' effect on immune systems and dietary antigens.

The University of Chicago's Romain Bouziat, PhD, and colleagues developed a viral infection model using two reovirus strains that infect the intestine but differ in their immunopathological outcomes. Previous research established reovirus' role as an avirulent pathogen eliciting protective immunity.

Researchers discovered:

1. Reovirus can "disrupt intestinal immune homeostasis at inductive and effector sites or oral tolerance by suppressing peripheral regulatory T cell conversion and promoting TH1 immunity to dietary antigens," according to researchers.

2. The initiation of such immunity to dietary antigens was dependent on "interferon regulatory factor 1 and dissociation from suppression of T cell conversion, which was mediated by type-1 interferon" according to the study.

Researchers concluded the study shows reovirus infections trigger the development of celiac disease.

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