Chronic Q fever associated with systemic sclerosis
SourceEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation, 49, 7, (2019), pp. e13123
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Clinical Investigation
SubjectRadboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
BACKGROUND: After the Q fever outbreak in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2010, more than 300 patients with chronic Q fever have been identified. Some patients were also diagnosed with systemic sclerosis, a rare immune-mediated disease. We aimed to increase awareness of concomitant chronic Q fever infection and systemic sclerosis and to give insight into the course of systemic sclerosis during persistent Q fever infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Chronic Q fever patients were identified after the Dutch Q fever outbreak in 2007-2010. Systemic sclerosis was diagnosed by a scleroderma expert and patients fulfilled the 2013 Classification Criteria for Systemic Sclerosis. RESULTS: Four cases presented with chronic Q fever, persistent Coxiella burnetii infection, shortly preceded or followed by the diagnosis of limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis. The three male patients of 60 years or older developed a relatively mild systemic sclerosis, which did not require immunosuppressive therapy during adequate treatment of the chronic Q fever infection. The 58-year-old female patient used immunosuppressives for her newly diagnosed systemic sclerosis at the time she likely developed a chronic Q fever infection. CONCLUSIONS: In this case series, chronic Q fever preceding systemic sclerosis was associated with a mild course of systemic sclerosis without the necessity of immunosuppressive drugs, while chronic Q fever development due to immunocompromised state was associated with a more deteriorating course of systemic sclerosis.
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