Background An infective aetiology for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has often been postulated. Thirteen species of mycoplasmas has been implicated in the origin of arthritis in experimental models and animals. Fragments of mycoplasma (PCR) has been detected in RA although the results are conflictive.
Objectives The main of our work is to evaluate previous mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) infection in a cohort of RA outpatients and further evaluation of MP infection and RA outcome.
Methods In 80 RA patients IgG antiMP was evaluated with ELISA. RA was evaluated according to disease duration, RF status and radiological stage. In control group were included 150 healthy people. Statistical analysis included Kruskal-Wallis test for IgG levels and determination of relative risk (odds ratio).
Results Mean age of RA patients was 53.17 (22–81 years); 83% were females. MP serology was positive in 54% of RA patients and 31% of controls (p < 0.05). Medium level of IgG was 1.431 in RA patients and 0.87 in controls (p < 0.0001). Previous MP infection conditioned a relative risk (odds ratio) for RA of 3.22 (95 CI; 1.76–5.91).
Conclusion Previous MP infection was more frequent in RA patients than controls. MP infection could play a role in RA genesis.
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