Diabetes and Infection

  • Atulya Atreja
  • Sanjay Kalra
  • Joel Rodriguez-Saldana


By comparison with persons without diabetes, the risk and frequency of infections is higher in persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes affects innate and adaptive immune function; T cell and B cell responses are both impaired. Increased susceptibility to infections may precipitate metabolic complications in diabetes; at the same time, hyperglycemia increases the risk of infections. Awareness of the large spectrum of diabetes-related infectious diseases is very helpful to mitigate the symptoms and to decrease morbidity and mortality. Infections in people with diabetes can occur in almost every organ system and have been classified in three categories: infections possibly related, infections strongly associated, and infections related to therapeutic interventions. Microorganisms involved include bacteria, fungi, and viruses; by comparison, rates of parasitic infections are lower and may actually have a protective role in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. The risk of life-threatening infections can be minimized with diabetes self-care and support education, along with optimal glycemic control. Appropriate choice of empirical antibiotics can limit the severity of symptoms. Immunization against influenza and pneumococcus is often recommended. Complicated cases should be referred for specialist consultations.


Infection Innate immune response Cellular immune response Bacteria Fungi Viruses Parasites Malignant otitis Rhinocerebral mucormycosis Periodontal infections Community-acquired pneumonia Tuberculosis Herpes zoster Hepatic abscess Urinary tract infection Vaginitis Balanitis Soft tissue infection Diabetic foot infection 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atulya Atreja
    • 1
  • Sanjay Kalra
    • 2
  • Joel Rodriguez-Saldana
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Pulmonary Medicine, MMIMSRMullanaIndia
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyBharti HospitalKarnalIndia
  3. 3.Multidisciplinary Center of DiabetesMexico CityMexico

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