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Risk of infections in bronchiectasis during disease-modifying treatment and biologics for rheumatic diseases

Guillaume Geri1*, Sabrina Dadoun1, Tach Bui2, Nuria Del Castillo Pinol1, Simon Paternotte1, Maxime Dougados1 and Laure Gossec1

Author Affiliations

1 Paris Descartes University, Medicine Faculty; Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Rheumatology B Department, Cochin Hospital, Paris France

2 Pneumology Department, Cochin Hospital, Paris France

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:304  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-304

Published: 2 November 2011



Bronchiectasis is frequently associated (up to 30%) with chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases and leads to lower respiratory tract infections. Data are lacking on the risk of lower respiratory tract infections in patients treated with biologic agents.


Monocenter, retrospective systematic study of all patients with a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease and concomitant bronchiectasis, seen between 2000 and 2009. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evidence predictive factors of the number of infectious respiratory events.


47 patients were included (mean age 64.1 ± 9.1 years, 33 (70.2%) women), with a mean follow-up per patient of 4.3 ± 3.1 years. Rheumatoid arthritis was the main rheumatic disease (90.1%). The mean number of infectious events was 0.8 ± 1.0 event per patient-year. The factors predicting infections were the type of treatment (biologic vs. non biologic disease-modifying treatments), with an odds ratio of 8.7 (95% confidence interval: 1.7-43.4) and sputum colonization by any bacteria (odds ratio 7.4, 2.0-26.8). In multivariate analysis, both factors were independently predictive of infections.


Lower respiratory tract infectious events are frequent among patients receiving biologics for chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease associated with bronchiectasis. Biologic treatment and pre-existing sputum colonization are independent risk factors of infection occurrence.