People with chronic rheumatic disease may be more susceptible to infections than others. It also applies to the "Opportunistic infections"Which usually does not occur without the immune system being impaired due to immunosuppressive drugs or illness.
- The symptoms of infection are not always obvious in the beginning
Special attention is needed to detect infections in vulnerable people. Increased susceptibility to tropical diseases may also occur.
Increased susceptibility to rheumatic disease infection may be due to:
- Immunosuppressive treatment (Prednisone, Biological drugs, Sendoxan, Azathioprine, Methotrexate and others)
- Concomitant lung, kidney or other organ disease
- High age
- Some have low values of Immunoglobulin IgG which can be caused by drugs (rituximab with more)
- Innate MBL deficiency (about 5% of the population) predispose to infections
- Congenital Immunodeficiency (SCID) may lead to death of the first year of life if treatment is not started (bone marrow transplant). All hospitals in Norway will begin test newborn, please read more here. Milder forms immunodeficiency can debut later
- Low white blood cells, especially the subgroup Neutrophil granulocytes dispose of infections
- More about causes of immune failure here (Wikipedia)
Primary Immune Defiency
- When among children and adolescents with strikingly frequent infections without any other known cause suspicion of primary immune immunodeficiency may be raised