Opportunistic infections and Rheumatic diseases 4.5/5 (2)

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Opportunistic infection

Patients with Systemic connective tissue diseases: or vasculitis diseases often gets a little weakened immune system when treated with immunosuppressive drugs. Thus, usually harmless microbes (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites) can cause unusual infections (opportunistic infection). Also other infections (latent virus, Tuberculosis and other infections) can flare up and get a more serious course than expected. Someone gets Multiresistant bacteria can cause infections. For the prognosis, it is nevertheless important to recognize the symptoms and make the right examinations as early as possible.

Suppressive treatment

Examples of immunosuppressive anti-rheumatological treatment that increase the risk of infections:

Preventive measures

Before starting immunosuppressive treatment like MabThera / Rixathon (Rituximab), RoActemra (Tocilizumab) and some others biological drugs it is common to rule out signs of blood infections by blood tests:

Vaccination against pneumococcal infection (Vaccine against pneumonia) and flu are often a good preventive measure

Detection of opportunistic infection

A study from the USA (reference: Baddley JW, 2014) confirmed that patients treated with TNF inhibitors were more prone to Opportunistic infections. The following non-viral infections were recorded:

Some other relevant infections with links to more information:


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