Correlation the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgM Antibodies and Viral DNA Presence with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in Iraqi Patients


In the Iraqi population, a high incidence (82.7%) of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) hasbeen reported among the suspected patient. Many investigators studied the microbialinfectious present in Iraqi patients with RA; however, to the best of our knowledge,there is no previous study detected the CMV DNA and antibodies to RA disease.Hence, the current study aimed to investigate the presence of CMV DNA andantibodies in Iraqi RA patients. A total of 58 blood samples were collected frompatients with clinical signs of rheumatoid arthritis, along with 32 samples ofapparently healthy individuals as a control group. These samples were tested forrheumatoid factor (RF), CMV IgM antibodies and viral DNA during the acute andthe chronic periods of the autoimmune disease. The results showed that 46.6%(27/58) and 13.8% (8/58) of rheumatoid arthritis patients had positive reactions forIgM-CMV and CMV DNA, respectively, as compared to healthy individual. Thehighest rate of the viral occurrence was recorded in the aged and female RA patients(24 and 21 cases, respectively). Moreover, the most significant increases in RAappearance and CMV reactivation cases were observed in patients with a mean agehigher than 40 years old. This finding pointed out the prevalence of viral infectionsmostly in RA patients aged more than 40 years old, accompanied by increased RAcases. This study concludes that patients with positive CMV must be tested forrheumatoid factor, especially when the viral DNA is present. Moreover, werecommend measuring TNF-α and IFN-γ as the proinflammatory cytokines that playan important role to protect against viral infection and prevent their reactivation inall RA patients.