In the Real World: Infections Associated with Biologic and Small Molecule Therapies in Psoriatic Arthritis and Psoriasis

  • Sarah A. R. SiegelEmail author
  • Kevin L. Winthrop
Infection and Arthritis (Kevin Winthrop, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Infections and Arthritis


Purpose of Review

To summarize our most current understanding of the real world risk of infections associated with biologic and small molecule therapies in the setting of psoriatic disease.

Recent Findings

Patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis are at increased risk for infection from both their disease and some of their therapies. There is little real world data for biologic and small molecule therapies; however, ustekinumab and biologics inhibiting IL-17 or IL-23 appear to have reduced risk estimates compared to anti-TNF therapies. Apremilast seems to have little infectious signal with limited real world data, and for JAK inhibitors, limited real world data suggest a higher risk of herpes zoster.


Recently approved targeted and small molecule therapies for psoriasis carry infectious risks for patients, although they appear to vary across mechanism of action. As these treatments become more widespread, and additional therapies are approved, it will be imperative to evaluate their safety in the context of real world data.


PsA PsO Opportunistic infection Biologics Serious infections 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Sarah Siegel has no conflicts of interest. Dr. Winthrop reports grants and personal fees from Pfizer, grants and personal fees from BMS, personal fees from AbbVie, personal fees from UCB, personal fees from Lilly, personal fees from Galapagos, personal fees from GSK, personal fees from Roche, and personal fees from Gilead, outside the submitted work.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public HealthOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseasesOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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