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Numerous associations have been documented between the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For example, anti-EBV antibody titers are higher in RA patients than in healthy controls. Lymphocytes from RA patients show impaired responses to EBV. Several EBV antigens share similarities with self-antigens; more specifically, the glycine/alanine repeats in the EBV protein EBNA-1 resemble synovial proteins.

Therefore, what immunological phenomena is the cause of EBV-induced RA?

A

Exposure of immunoprivileged antigens.

B

Molecular mimicry.

C

Intramolecular epitope spreading.

D

Intermolecular epitope spreading.

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