Etiology of sarcoidosis: does infection play a role?

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Saidha, S; Sotirchos, ES; Eckstein, C

Published Date

  • March 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 85 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 133 - 141

PubMed ID

  • 22461752

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3313528

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1551-4056


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States