The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Infections in infancy and the presence of antinuclear antibodies in adult life

Edwards, C.J., Syddall, H., Goswami, R., Goswami, P., Dennison, E.M. and Cooper, C. (2006) Infections in infancy and the presence of antinuclear antibodies in adult life Lupus, 15, (4), pp. 213-217. (doi:10.1191/0961203306lu2286oa).

Record type: Article


There has been limited success defining environmental factors important to the development of connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Recent work has suggested that the perinatal environment may be important. To investigate this we measured antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in a general population with well-defined early lives to see whether fetal and infant growth and infections were associated with ANA positivity in adult life. Included in our investigation were 1334 individuals (668 men, 666 women) from the Hertfordshire cohort study. ANA was measured using an ANA ELISA and confirmed using immunofluorescence. We investigated associations between the presence of ANA and early growth and infectious exposure in infancy in men and women combined, but with adjustment for gender throughout. A positive ANA was present in 73 (10.9%) of men and 81 (12.2%) women. Of these, 26 women and 14 men were positive using IF on HEP2 cells. Sharing a bedroom during childhood was associated with a higher risk of being ANA positive (odds ratio (OR), 1.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-2.01, P = 0.05). A record of diarrhoeal illness (OR 2.12 95% CI 1.07, 4.23, P = 0.03) and rubella or mumps during the first year of life (OR 16.12, 95% CI 2.92, 88.94, P = 0.001) was also significantly associated with ANA in adult life. Higher ANA titres by Inova ELISA were associated with infections in the first year of life from mumps (2.74-fold higher, 95% CI 0.98, 7.64, P = 0.05) and rubella (3.90-fold higher, 95% CI 1.89, 8.04, P < 0.001). In addition, higher ANA titres were also associated with mumps (1.26-fold higher, 95% CI 1.02, 1.56, P = 0.03) between one and five years of age. Our results suggest that a developing immune system exposed to increased infection is more likely to produce ANA in adult life and perhaps begin the pathological process that leads to SLE.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: April 2006
Keywords: antinuclearantibodies, autoantibodies, autoimmunity, environment, infection, virus


Local EPrints ID: 61073
PURE UUID: 38133b50-363d-4bb0-a43a-93e62df5d86b
ORCID for H. Syddall: ORCID iD
ORCID for C. Cooper: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Oct 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:22

Export record



Author: C.J. Edwards
Author: H. Syddall ORCID iD
Author: R. Goswami
Author: P. Goswami
Author: E.M. Dennison
Author: C. Cooper ORCID iD

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.