Research ArticlesImmunology

Reovirus infection triggers inflammatory responses to dietary antigens and development of celiac disease

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6333, pp. 44-50
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah5298

eLetters is an online forum for ongoing peer review. Submission of eLetters are open to all. eLetters are not edited, proofread, or indexed.  Please read our Terms of Service before submitting your own eLetter.

Compose eLetter

Plain text

  • Plain text
    No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter the characters shown in the image.

Vertical Tabs

  • RE: Cooperative mechanisms in human illness
    • Leslie M. Klevay, Prof. Emeritus, Department of Internal Medicine University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

    Bouziat et al.(1) found that reovirus infection may disrupt intestinal immune homeostasis and initiate loss of oral tolerance to gluten leading to celiac disease. The findings may explain the epidemiologic association between viral infection and onset of food sensitivity(2).
    Three decades ago(3, 4) it was suggested that four classes of etiologic agents---toxicity, heredity, infection, deficiency---plus cooperations between and among members of the classes can explain much variability of human disease (a sequel is currently under editorial review).
    Here reovirus seems to change gluten from an innocuous dietary component into a toxin. The complicated mechanism is somewhat different from the original infectious intoxications described (3), e.g., in cholera the organism elaborates an enterotoxin that produces illness directly by inhibiting sodium absorption causing great, and often fatal, loss of fluid and electrolytes.
    Some patients with celiac disease absorb too little dietary copper and become deficient(5, 6). In the original classification scheme, celiac disease would have been considered a toxic deficiency(3) similar to Wernicke’s encephalopathy in which excessive ingestion of ethanol induces thiamine deficiency. Now some celiac disease can be considered a three-way cooperation among an infection, a toxin and a deficiency. Other three- and four-way cooperations have been identified(3).
    Members of the four classes of known, etiologic agent...

    Show More
    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Interesting article

    Hello, this is an extremely interesting article. I'd be curious to know if links between the gut and brain can be altered by viral infection. Can, for example reovirus, or other virus, infection amplify or create psychiatric conditions? This may suggest that it might be possible in future to create vaccines, not only for celiac disease, but for bipolar disorder (which I suffer from) and other disorders. Truly exciting work.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

Navigate This Article