Etiology of sarcoidosis: does infection play a role?
Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous inflammatory disorder of unclear etiology, which is known to affect multiple organ systems including the lungs, heart, skin, central nervous system, and eyes, among others. For this reason, sarcoidosis represents a systemic medical disorder that is clinically relevant to multiple medical sub-specialties. Despite extensive research, the etiology of sarcoidosis has yet to be elucidated, although most evidence supports that the pathogenetic mechanism of sarcoidosis is an aberrant immune response, driven by an unidentified antigen (or antigens) in genetically susceptible individuals. Multiple candidate etiologic agents, including microbial organisms and environmental agents, have been investigated, but study results are inconclusive. In this review, we describe the known histologic and immunologic features of sarcoidosis and discuss the evidence supporting a role for infectious processes in the pathogenesis of sarcoidosis.
Saidha, S; Sotirchos, ES; Eckstein, C
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