Environmental Contributors to Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Environmental FactorsAs with other autoimmune diseases, many scientists think that something must occur to trigger the disease process in people whose genetic makeup makes them susceptible to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. A viral or bacterial infection appears likely, but the exact agent is not yet known.
Given that juvenile rheumatoid arthritis occurs all over the world, it is thought that this organism must be everywhere. Scientists have studied bacteria such as mycoplasmas, as well as viruses such as cytomegalovirus, parvovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and the rubella virus. However, to date, there have been no convincing data to show that these viruses can cause the disease.
Also, keep in mind that this does not mean that juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is contagious; a person cannot catch the disease from someone else.