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Association between urticaria and virus infections: A systematic review

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Background:

The association between urticaria and virus infections has rarely been reported in the literature. The lack of reported cases is probably due to the difficulty in establishing a cause-and-effect relationship. It is not possible to challenge the patient with an etiologic agent.

Objective:

The purpose of this work was to perform a systematic review on the association between urticaria and virus infections.

Methods:

This systematic review was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. We searched for articles from January 1, 2008, through May 2015, by using two key terms related to urticaria and virus diseases, “urticaria” and one key term related to virus infections, “virus disease,” then “urticaria” and the name of each virus family, and of the most representative virus serotypes.

Results:

We reported cases of patients affected either by acute or chronic urticaria with a concurrent virus infection. Previous other causes of urticaria had to be excluded. Herpesviridae infections and urticaria were the most frequently reported associations in children. However, hepatitis virus infections would appear to be the most-frequent cause of urticaria in adults.

Conclusions:

Data obtained indicated viral infection as a potential trigger and sometimes as the main etiologic agent in causing acute or chronic urticaria. In every case, urticarial manifestation cleared up after either healing or controlling of the viral infection. However, prospective studies and well-structured research is needed to better clarify the role of viruses in the pathogenesis of urticaria and their relative prevalence.
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