Infections Associated with Retinal Autoimmunity

Barbara Detrick, John J. Hooks, Robert Nussenblatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Autoimmune reactivity and autoimmune disease in the eye is a rapidly expanding area of research and therapy. We present evidence implicating three distinct classes of infectious agents in the development of an autoimmune process within the retina. We highlight two human diseases triggered by Onchocerca volvulus or Toxoplasma gondii and an experimental model of retinal degenerative disease, referred to as experimental coronavirus retinopathy (ECOR). Analysis of these systems revealed distinct pathogenic mechanisms involved in the induction of autoimmunity triggered by each organism. In T. gondii infections, the chronic reactivation is probably responsible for the presentation of sequestered retinal epitopes of the immune system. In O. volvulus infections, molecular mimicry between the organism and the human RPE protein may contribute to retinal pathology. In ECOR, differences in time of induction, duration, and intensity of innate immune reactivity may contribute to autoimmune reactivity in BALB/c mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInfection and Autoimmunity
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780444632692
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Experimental coronavirus retinopathy
  • Onchocerca volvulus
  • Retinal autoimmunity
  • Toxoplasmosis gondii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Infections Associated with Retinal Autoimmunity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this