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July 1985

Infection in the Immunocompromised Host

Author Affiliations

Dermatology Department University of Pennsylvania Hospital 3400 Spruce St 2 W Gates Bldg Philadelphia, PA 19104

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(7):855-857. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660070045012

The six articles about infection in immunocompromised hosts in this issue of the Archives underscore a major challenge in modern medicine. The use of systemic corticosteroids, chemotherapeutic agents, and x-ray therapy have been refined to the point where successful organ transplantation and remission of leukemia and other malignancies are commonplace. Serious infection in these patients remains a major risk of immunosuppressive therapy. In addition to compromise of the immune system induced by therapeutic maneuvers, disease processes, such as malignancy and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, render other patients at risk for infection. With the exception of patients with pemphigus and pemphigoid, who are receiving highdose systemic corticosteroid therapy, dermatologists are not usually primary physicians for immunosuppressed patients. Often, however, they are called in for consultation about patients with compromised immune systems. A high index of suspicion for an infectious process should be maintained when a physician examines a patient who is

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