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Immunosuppressive therapy is frequently used to treat gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune hepatitis, IgG4-related disease (autoimmune pancreatitis and sclerosing cholangitis) and in the post-transplantation setting. These drugs interfere with the immune system. The main safety concern with their use is the risk of infections. Certain infections can be prevented or their impact minimized. Physicians must adopt preventative strategies and should have a high degree of suspicion to recognize infections early and treat appropriately. This article reviews the risk factors for infections, the mechanism of action of immunosuppressive therapy and proposes preventive strategies.

Original publication




Journal article


Ther Adv Chronic Dis

Publication Date





167 - 185


IgG4-related disease, autoimmune hepatitis, immunosuppressive therapy, infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, prevention, transplantation, vaccination