Autoimmune diseases are the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality, after heart disease and cancer, in the industrialized world. Systemic lupus erythematosus, is a prototypic multi-system autoimmune disease that can affect the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, ... kidneys, and nervous system. There is no one specific cause of SLE but the impact of infections on the development of SLE is substantial and the relationship between infections and autoimmunity in general is a complex phenomenon that has been the focus of much research. Many positive consequences of infection with live malaria parasite were observed while gamma irradiation has diminished this effect.
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