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Is lupus contagious?

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Updated May 27, 2014

Question: Is lupus contagious?
Answer: No, lupus is not contagious. It cannot be passed from one person to another. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, the cause of which is still unknown. An autoimmune disease is characterized by a malfunction of the immune system - one in which the immune system cannot distinguish between the body's own cells and tissues and that of foreign matter, like viruses. Rather than simply producing antibodies to attack antigens (viruses, bacteria and similar foreign matter), the immune system creates auto-antibodies that attack the immune system itself. Genetic and environmental factors, such as certain drugs and infections, may trigger the disease in those predisposed to lupus. And research continues with regard to genetics, as researchers have yet to pinpoint a specific gene or set of genes that cause the disease.

Sources:

What is lupus? Lupus Foundation of America. February 2008.

Lupus Causes. Lupus Foundation of America. February 2008.

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