PFAPA is frequently discussed together with other periodic fever syndromes, but it is unknown whether the cause is primarily genetic or due to an initial infection.
According to recent information that has been gathered, there has been some genetic links that are possible.
The condition appears to be the result of a disturbance of innate immunity. The changes in the immune system are complex and include increased expression of complement related genes (C1QB, C2, SERPING1), interleulkin-1-related genes (interleukin-1B, interleukin 1 RN, CASP1, interleukin 18 RAP) and interferon induced (AIM2, IP-10/CXCL10) genes. T cell associated genes (CD3, CD8B) are down regulated. Flares are accompanied by increased serum levels of activated T lymphocyte chemokines (IP-10/CXCL10, MIG/CXCL9), G-CSF and proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin 6, interleukin 18). Flares also manifest with a relative lymphopenia. Activated CD4(+)/CD25(+) T-lymphocyte counts correlated negatively with serum concentrations of IP-10/CXCL10, whereas CD4(+)/HLA-DR(+) T lymphocyte counts correlated positively with serum concentrations of the counterregulatory IL-1 receptor antagonist.
Read more about this topic: Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis And Adenitis
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