Infections in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

  • Luis J. Jara
  • Gabriela Medina
  • María del Pilar Cruz-Domínguez
  • Michel Augusto Martinez Bencomo
  • Josehp Lira Tecpa
  • Miguel Angel Saavedra


Despite the progress made in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), infections remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with SLE.

SLE is the same entity in all parts of the world; however genetic variants and environmental factors are different. Therefore, it is necessary that in each country and region risk factors should be adequately identified, in order to take preventive measures and diagnose and treat infections in patients with SLE in a timely manner.

The interaction between viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, with the immune system of patients with SLE, is very complex. It is possible that each patient with SLE has a type of individual immune/inflammatory response. Knowledge of the mechanisms of this interaction helps to correctly diagnose and treat infections in these patients.

Many infectious agents have the ability to mimic active SLE. Therefore it is necessary to use the biomarkers to make a difference, without forgetting that the correct clinical judgment will define whether it is a reactivation of the SLE or a serious infection that endangers the life of the patient with SLE.

This chapter will review the current situation of infections in SLE, its impact in different regions of the world, the interactions between infectious agents and the immune system, and the strategies to be followed to decrease the morbidity and mortality in SLE patients.


SLE infections SLE infection epidemiology SLE infections and risk factors SLE infections and immune system SLE infections and biomarkers SLE infections and prevention 



Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase


Chikungunya virus


Cardiac muscle antibodies


Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage


Dendritic cells


Epstein-Barr virus


Highly active antiretroviral therapy


Human papillomavirus


Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome


Mannose-binding lectin


Medical Subject Headings


Strongyloidiasis hyperinfection syndrome


Toll-like receptors


Zika virus


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis J. Jara
    • 1
  • Gabriela Medina
    • 2
  • María del Pilar Cruz-Domínguez
    • 3
  • Michel Augusto Martinez Bencomo
    • 4
  • Josehp Lira Tecpa
    • 5
  • Miguel Angel Saavedra
    • 6
  1. 1.Education and Research, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico La Raza, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Clinical Research Unit, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Medico La RazaMexico CityMexico
  3. 3.Health Research Division, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico La RazaMexico CityMexico
  4. 4.Research DivisionHospital de Especialidades Centro Médico Nacional La Raza, IMSS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  5. 5.Clinical Research Unit, Hospital de Especialidades “Dr. Antonio Fraga Mouret” Centro Medico La Raza, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP)Mexico CityMexico
  6. 6.Department of Rheumatology, Hospital de Especialidades, Centro Médico La Raza, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico

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