Biliary atresia (BA) in infantile is unique and an inflammatory cholangiopathy that culminates in a progressive sclerosis of the extrahepatic biliary tree, resulting in cholestasis by complete obliteration of the lumen of the bile ducts. Although etiologies of biliary atresia are not completely determined, several factors have been proposed. Among them, triggering roles of viral infection of the primary perinatal hepatobiliary epithelium which leads to autoimmune-mediated bile duct injury with destruction of self-tolerance have been suggested. Thereafter, sclerosis of the extrahepatic biliary tree and intrahepatic bile ducts may develop by continued injury. This brief article focuses mainly on the possibility of viruses such as rotavirus, reovirus and cytomegalovirus in a triggering role in the pathogenesis of BA. Also viruses as precipitator and underlying mechanisms in the development of autoimmunity to bile ducts and sclerosis will be discussed.
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