West Nile virus (WNV) infection has been reported to promote myasthenia gravis (MG) and various other diseases that have a presumed autoimmune pathogenesis. Molecular mimicry between WNV proteins and host proteins has been postulated as the major mechanism for WNV-triggered breaking of immunological self-tolerance. We present a patient with stable ocular MG and positive anti-acetylcholine receptor antibodies who progressed to myasthenic crisis after WNV neuroinvasive disease. In this case of stable autoimmune disease with proven auto-antibodies, transformation to generalized disease cannot be attributed to molecular mimicry, which requires that an immune response first be generated against an infectious agent.

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