New Blood Test to Identify Viruses

Just seen this article about identifying every virus that a person has had in their life. Seems to me that it would be useful information to have in investigating possible triggers for vasculitis.

As the test is relatively cheap I was also wondering whether VUK might consider funding it for the likes of the Rudy study and the Vasculitis Registry Susan ?

The source research article is here :

10 Replies

  • Yes, I agree. I have seen this elsewhere , Richard. "Possible trigger" is probably an understatement.. Thanks so much for sharing. Kudo to you.

  • Yes, viruses have always been thought to be involved in some way. This just seems like an opportunity to gather the information that the researchers just don't have at the moment. Giving them a full viral history of each vasculitis patient for comparison with each other as well as against a control "healthy" group.

  • as someone with possible Lymes I have been told that lymes is extremely hard to find. therefore, I doubt whether this test could show all virus's - but I would take it and hope to be proved wrong :)

  • It would be a lot cheaper for sure. My mother had scarlet fever, I often wondered if it was probably what triggered her autoimmunity later in her life. Humble, I do hear the same, from a reliable source. I'm not sure if it has to be Lyme but some of us could be reacting to so called one of the commonest, "innocuous" viruses for which no vaccines were ever developed as they were so common..

    It is only fairly recent when some viruses have been implicated for some neurological conditions. They now say, asthma is also autoimmune response to has to be a run of the mill virus. It dos not need to be cytomegalovirus or anything like that.

  • There was a test my neurologist took in January - I had not heard of it before but he said the other day that it flagged up for viral infection/ autoimmunity. I think it might have begun with a G and wasn't Lyme or Immunoglobulin which were okay.

    He didn't mention it in his original letter to my GP but I'm now wondering if I should try to find out more. I did ask my GP but he just shrugged and said he hadn't heard of half these tests - they are so obscure. The neurologist seemed to think it might be a good idea for me to go back and see a Vasculitis expert and said he'd mention it to my rheumy.

    I wonder if this could be the same blood test that this article refers to. I had very severe whooping cough as a child and also eczema and allopecia which disappeared a few years before my RA started - same family as asthma I believe.

  • I'm not sure this new viral test is available just yet. But there are some viral infections that are known to cause certain types of vasculitis, such as Hepatitis B and C. I think some viruses can also have symptoms similar to vasculitis. So as part of the process when diagnosing vasculitis doctors will need to eliminate viral infection and so will test for specific ones.

  • Infections such as Lyme disease and Scarlett Fever wouldn't show as they are bacterial, not viral.

  • Good point. I guess there may be bacterial infections that are connected with vasculitis but this test is just looking at viruses.

  • I think that streptococci and staphylococcus are implicated as triggers Richard, as well as other bacterium. From the presentations at the Vasculitis Patient Symposium there are a range of genes implicated as well, not just 1 as in diseases like Huntingdons disease. Sometimes I think it's like looking for a needle in a hay stack.

    Hopefully 1 day we will get prevention, at the moment I would settle for better treatment!

  • Genetic research does seem to be the way forwards but like you, I've also read that it's probably not simply 1 gene that brings the predisposition to vasculitis. But my hope is that the understanding they gain from all this research into the genetics and triggers for vasculitis will lead to more targetted, more effective and safer drugs to treat the disease.

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