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Clin Rheumatol. 2013 Mar;32 Suppl 1:S25-7. doi: 10.1007/s10067-010-1416-4. Epub 2010 Mar 7.

Listeria monocytogenes infection in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Rheumatology Unit, Fundación Clínica Valle del Lili, Cra. 98 18-49, Cali, Colombia, South America.


Listeria monocytogenes infection (LMI) is a rare complication in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, and it is associated with nonspecific clinical manifestations and is often mistaken with SLE flares. Several cases of LMI in SLE patients have been reported, with high mortality rates. This article describes five new cases of LMI in patient with SLE in a cohort of 174 patients (2.8%). All patients were women, with a mean age of 19.4 years (range, 5-29 years). Mean duration of SLE before clinical LMI was 2.8 years (range, 2-4 years). Recurrent infection was not evidenced. At the time of LMI, all patients had an inactive disease, receiving steroids and immunosuppressive treatment. Clinical picture of meningitis was present in two patients. All patients were treated with ampicillin, with resolution of clinical manifestations without sequels. In order to eliminate the intracellular forms of L. monocytogenes, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was initiated, and an allergic skin reaction was presented in all but one patient. Our report highlights the unspecific clinical manifestations of LMI and these characteristics are initially challenging and may be interpreted as lupus flares. An accurate diagnosis and an early antibiotic treatment are essential to improve the outcome in these patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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