In 1985 a patient was described whose persistent polyarthritis was found to be aetiologically linked to rubella virus infection through the detection of repeated maximal synovial lymphocyte proliferative responses to rubella virus antigen and by isolation of rubella virus from her synovium. Follow up over the succeeding seven years has shown continuing chronic polyarthritis and persistent synovial lymphocyte responses to rubella virus antigen with the additional observation that she has a defective humoral immune response against rubella virus.
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