Autoimmune thyroid diseases are a group of diseases characterized by a dysfunction of the immune system concerning the thyroid gland, associated with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. The thyroid gland autoimmunity has been recognized as multifactorial. It has been reported that microorganisms may play a role on the pathogenesis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves´ disease. These could explain the high incidence of the autoimmune thyroid diseases. Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) are the microorganisms in which the association with autoimmune thyroid diseases is clearer. The pathophysiologic mechanisms are still not well defined. For H. pylori, molecular mimicry has been the most accepted mechanism. It has been proposed Hepatitis C virus as the trigger of the thyroid autoimmunity by exacerbating the production of thyroid auto-antibodies, while some mention that the real factor that triggers the thyroid autoimmunity is the treatment with Interferon alpha (IFN-alpha) by upregulating MHC class I and inducing ligation of CD40+ cells to thyrocytes. Other microorganisms such as Toxoplasma gondii, Human Immunodeficiency virus, Herpes virus and others have reported information about their association with thyroid autoimmune diseases There are no proposals on how these last microorganisms induce thyroid autoimmunity. There is still a lack of evidence on this topic. Further research must be done to determine the interaction of these microorganisms and the best way to manage these patients.
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