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BACKGROUND/AIM: Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are a group of conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract and primarily includes Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD). This review has as target to summarize the complicated correlation between IBD and infections, which can affect patients’ quality of life and increase substantially morbidity and mortality rates.
RESULTS: Scientific evidence in recent years shows a growing recognition of the phenomenon although the association between these two aspects is not definitively clear. Despite the fact that our understanding of this linkage is still incomplete, it is easily deducible that infections can start whether it be the onset or the relapse of IBD. In addition to this, the course of the disease predisposes the patient to numerous infections caused by the drugs used to treat IBD and this also raises the risk of infection complications.
CONCLUSIONS: Clinical trials have demonstrated that the combined use of immunomodulating agents may increase the risk of new infections. The infections might be intensified by an insufficient vaccination of adults with IBD. Physicians have to be aware of these risks and try to attenuate and treat them properly.