Transient Environmental Agents Involved in the Cause of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis


McNally, R.J.Q.

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This publication is dedicated to the study of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) and, more specifically, to the role that transient environmental agents may play in the aetiology of this disease. A space-time clustering analysis of PBC cases was recently conducted using population-based data from a defined geographical region of North East England. These analyses revealed the presence of highly statistically significant space-time clustering which could not be attributed to an artefactual occurrence; a finding which was interpreted as providing supporting evidence for the involvement of transient environmental agents in aetiology. This book contains seven articles contributed by invited experts (and their associates), each of whom offer their own perspective. Topics covered include: environmental risk factors and agents as related to PBC; infection, infectious agents - and specifically E. coli – in the pathogenesis of PBC; infectious agents and xenobiotics in the etiology of PBC and PBC triggers in water reservoirs, coal mining areas and waste disposal sites. All of the contributors agreed that aetiology is far from clear or straightforward and they concur that future efforts should involve the integration of separate strands into a fully comprehensive model; in particular that gene-environment interactions should be studied in greater detail. This book provides a comprehensive review of current knowledge in the study of PBC aetiology and will be of interest to all those working in this field.