Infections and biological therapy in patients with rheumatic diseases

Fabiola Atzeni, Alberto Batticciotto, Ignazio F. Masala, Rossella Talotta, Maurizio Benucci, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long-term extension studies and observational drug registers have revealed an increased risk of serious infections in patients treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor agents, particularly infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab. The same may be true for the newer biological drugs rituximab, tocilizumab and abatacept, although this has yet to be confirmed by long-term observational studies. We review the risk of tuberculosis, herpes zoster and other opportunistic infections, and the recommendations for screening for tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C infections in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, with the aim of informing patients and encouraging greater awareness among physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-167
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Anti-CD20
  • Anti-interleukin 6
  • Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) drugs
  • Fungal and viral infections
  • Newer biological drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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