Recently, several infectious agents including Epstein-Barr virus and Escherichia coli have been suggested as possible contributing factors to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study was designed to compare serum and synovial fluid markers of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and Helicobacter pylori of RA and osteoarthritis (OA) patients.
This comparative study was conducted on two hundred OA and RA patients who referred to the Rheumatic Diseases Research Center (RDRC) affiliated with Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran, from March 2015 to 2016. Synovial fluid was obtained from all individuals. Two years later, participants attended a follow-up session to collect blood samples for serum markers of these two infectious agents.
Twenty-five patients (96.15%) in the RA group and 23 individuals (92%) in the OA group had positive serum IgG antibodies for HSV. As for Helicobacter pylori, 13 individuals (50%) in RA and 12 individuals (48%) had positive serum IgG antibodies (p value = 0.66). In addition, 9 (34.6%) and 8 (30.8%) in the RA group and 10 (40%) and 3 (12%) in the OA group had positive serum IgA and IgM antibodies for Helicobacter pylori, respectively (p value = 0.89 and p value = 0.13, respectively). Collected fluid samples were negative for both Helicobacter pylori and HSV1 and 2 DNA particles in all individuals.
Based on the results of the current study, there is no difference between RA and OA patients in terms of Herpes simplex virus and Helicobacter pylori infection.