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Is systemic lupus erythematosus infectious?

Q: My wife is suffering from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) with CNS involvement and Anti Phospholipid Syndrome. She is under treatment at CMCH, Vellore and is on Prednisolone 15 mg every alternate day, Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg daily, Ostocalcium 400 mg daily, Ecospirin 150 mg daily & alprazolam 0.25 mg at times. We have an 8 year old son. Can our son and I be also infected with this disease and what are Anti-DNA and Anti-Cardio Lipin tests?

A:1. SLE is NOT an infectious disease. It is an auto immune disease that appears to have some genetic basis. It would be most unusual for a mother and son both to have SLE, the chances are almost next to nil. Of course you cannot get it because the disease is NOT infectious and, obviously, you do not have blood relation with your wife. Anti-DNA and anti-cardiolipin antibodies are the abnormal proteins that appear in the blood of patients with SLE - as part of the disease activity. They are often used in confirming the clinical diagnosis of SLE and anti-cardiolipin antibody syndrome (actual name anti-phospholipid syndrome).


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