Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: Risks and Prophylaxis Recommendations.
Clin Med Insights Circ Respir Pulm Med. 2015 Sep 6;9(Suppl 1):29-40.
Mori S1, Sugimoto M2.
1Department of Rheumatology, Clinical Research Center for Rheumatic Diseases, NHO Kumamoto Saishunsou National Hospital, Kumamoto, Japan.
2Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine, Social Insurance Omuta Tenryo Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan.
Pneumocystis jirovecii infection causes fulminant interstitial pneumonia (Pneumocystis pneumonia, PCP) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are receiving biological and/or nonbiological antirheumatic drugs. Recently, we encountered a PCP outbreak among RA outpatients at our institution.
Hospital-acquired, person-to-person transmission appears to be the most likely mode of this cluster of P. jirovecii infection. Carriage of P. jirovecii seems a time-limited phenomenon in immunocompetent hosts, but in RA patients receiving antirheumatic therapy, clearance of this organism from the lungs is delayed.
Carriers among RA patients can serve as sources and reservoirs of P. jirovecii infection for other susceptible patients in outpatient facilities. Development of PCP is a matter of time in such carriers.
Considering the poor survival rates of PCP cases, prophylactic antibiotics should be considered for RA patients who are scheduled to receive antirheumatic therapy.
Once a new case of PCP occurs, we should take prompt action not only to treat the PCP patient but also to prevent other patients from becoming new carriers of P. jirovecii.
Short-term prophylaxis with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is effective in controlling P. jirovecii infection and preventing future outbreaks of PCP among RA patients.