Ann Rheum Dis 63:105-106 doi:10.1136/ard.2003.006270
  • Letter

Septic arthritis caused by Moraxella catarrhalis associated with infliximab treatment in a patient with undifferentiated spondarthritis

  1. I Olivieri1,
  2. A Padula1,
  3. L Armignacco2,
  4. V Sabatella2,
  5. M Mancino3
  1. 1Rheumatology Department of Lucania, S Carlo Hospital, Potenza and Madonna delle Grazie Hospital, Matera, Italy
  2. 2Department of Infectious Diseases, San Carlo Hospital, Potenza, Italy
  3. 3Microbiology Service, San Carlo Hospital, Potenza, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr I Olivieri
    Rheumatology Department of Lucania, San Carlo Hospital, Contrada Macchia Romana, 85100 Potenza, Italy;
  • Accepted 27 March 2003

Tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) antagonists have been associated with reactivation of tuberculosis and development of other opportunistic infections.1–4 We have recently observed a case of septic arthritis caused by Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis in a patient treated with infliximab that we describe briefly here.


The patient, a 45 year old man, was referred to us in September 1999 for evaluation of an eight year history of recurrent episodes of arthritis of the knees and elbows and of recurrent episodes of inflammatory swelling with pitting oedema over the dorsum of the hand. One year before the onset of arthritis he had undergone replacement surgery for an insufficient aortic valve. Physical examination disclosed swelling, effusion, and tenderness in the right knee, together with tenosynovitis of the left tibialis posterior and flexor digitorum …