About this Research Topic
Infections in the setting of a rheumatic disease can be the cause of the rheumatic disorder or could be the result of the disease itself or related to the immunosuppressive therapies that rheumatic patients often receive.
It is well-established that a number of infectious agents like viruses or bacteria can be the cause of various rheumatic syndromes. These include hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated cryoglobulinemic vasculitis, hepatitis B virus (HBV) associated medium size vasculitis, parvovirus-associated polyarthritis or septic arthritis.
Over the last few years, epidemics of alphavirus-associated arthritides have been reported in different areas of the world as well as in travellers from these endemic areas, highlighting their importance as a worldwide public health problem.
On the other hand, there is a widespread implementation in the daily clinical practice of novel anti-rheumatic therapies including biologic therapies. They target specific pro-inflammatory cytokines or immune cells as well as the newer targeted oral therapies (kinase inhibitors), which occasionally led to infectious complications. These include serious bacterial infections, viral reactivations (e.g. HBV reactivation, herpes zoster) and opportunistic infections (tuberculosis, Pneumocystiis jirovecii pneumonia, fungal infections). These infectious complications are associated with significant morbidity and mortality and can often lead to the discontinuation of the much needed anti-rheumatic therapy.
So far, our understanding of the extent and precise factors that are associated with the development of such infectious complications in rheumatic patients under traditional or the newer anti-rheumatic agents is limited.
In this Research Topic collection, our goal is to better understand the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical and laboratory manifestations, diagnostic approach as well as the treatment of infections in the setting of rheumatic diseases. For that we are welcoming authors from different subspecialties (rheumatologists, infectious disease specialists, basic researchers in immunology etc) to submit their original work in the form of original research or review articles which will enhance our knowledge for infection-related rheumatic diseases. This will help to provide the best care for our patients with rheumatic diseases in the years to come.
Keywords: infections, rheumatic diseases, biologics, immunosuppressives, viruses
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