SLE and Infections

Gisele Zandman-Goddard*, Yehuda Shoenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem autoimmune disease characterized by a myriad of autoantibody production. Immunological aberrations may play a role in the susceptibility of SLE patients to infections. Furthermore, immunosuppressive agents utilized in the treatment of moderate and severe lupus give rise to a tendency for infectio ns including opportunistic ones. Infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with SLE. Patients with SLE have a higher infection rate than the general population. It is estimated that at least 50% of them will suffer a severe infectious episode during the course of the disease. The rate of infection and concomitant morbidity has not decreased. Meticulous exclusion of infection is mandatory in patients with SLE because infections may masquerade as exacerbation of underlying disease; and the immunosuppression used to treat severe forms of exacerbation of lupus can have catastrophic consequences in patients with infections. Further research in the identification of genetic factors may isolate SLE patients at increased risk for infections.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInfection and Autoimmunity, 2nd edition
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780444512710
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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