Newly Published Finding Provides Clues to Preventing Lupus Flares

Findings from an animal study just published in The Journal of Immunology showed that repeated exposure to staph bacteria could be a cause of lupus or a trigger for a flare-up. Co-author and Mayo Clinic rheumatologist Vaidehi Chowdhary, MD, said they hope to confirm their findings in lupus patients and find a way to prevent flares.  Dr. Chowdhary’s team is also exploring whether treating people at risk for lupus to eradicate staph bacteria might prevent lupus from developing.

Physicians do not really know what causes lupus, so the discovery of the staph protein's possible role is exciting, Dr. Chowdhary says.