Are Biologic Agents Linked to Skin, Soft Tissue Infections?
Data show no increased risk for SSTIs with biologic agent use, but risk increased for biologic therapy with concomitant corticosteroid use
By Dermsquared Editorial Team | September 08, 2021
Emily Nguyen, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the incidence of SSTIs in patients receiving biologic agents for all clinical indications in a retrospective medical record review conducted at two urban tertiary care hospitals. Data were included for 827 patients who received adalimumab, infliximab, etanercept, and ustekinumab between June 2013 and 2018.
The researchers found significant correlations for hypertension, former smoking, and corticosteroid use with SSTI risk. The risk for SSTIs was not increased in association with biologic agent use. However, risk was increased for biologic therapy with concomitant corticosteroid use. Among the 180 patients who underwent surgical procedures, there was no difference in postoperative SSTI risk for patients who did versus those who did not stop biologic therapy before surgery.
"These data are an important step in further elucidating the relationship between biologic agents and SSTIs," the authors write. "Given the paucity of data on SSTI and biologic use (especially non-anti-tumor necrosis factor agents), further prospective study is warranted."