Use of exploratory factor analysis to ascertain the correlation between the activities of rheumatoid arthritis and infection by human parvovirus B19.
We evaluated a possible correlation between the clinical activities of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and human parvovirus B19 (B19) infection using exploratory factor analysis (EFA).
RA patients were organized into two groups: 100 patients in the main group and 97 in the RA(DAS28) group. Four subgroups were defined from the main group according to the presence or absence of certain infection-specific markers: group I comprised 43 patients who had IgG antibodies against B19; group II, 25 patients with active B19 infection (B19-specific IgM antibodies and/or plasma viremia); group III, 19 patients with latent/persistent B19 infection (virus-specific sequences in peripheral blood leukocytes’ DNA with or without B19-specific IgG antibodies), and group IV, 13 patients without infection markers. The RA(DAS28) group was divided into four subgroups similarly to the main group: group I, 35; group II, 31; group III, 19; and group IV, 12 patients. Disease-specific clinical values in both groups were analyzed employing EFA, and the RA(DAS28) group was additionally assessed using Disease Activity Score (DAS)28.
RA activity was higher in patients who had markers of B19 infection. The highest activity of RA in both study groups was in patients with latent/persistent infection. In the RA(DAS28) group, according to DAS28, the highest activity of RA was in patients with active B19 infection.
Using EFA and DAS28, a correlation between the clinical activity of RA and B19 infection was confirmed. These data suggest that EFA is applicable for medico-biological studies.
Received 9 June 2013, accepted 15 January 2015, available online 28 January 2015.