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Opportunistic Infections

Opportunistic Infections is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Unusual infections that occur when host suffers a decrease in resistance against normally nonpathogenic organisms


  • Occurs in HIV patients when the CD4 T-lymphocyte count falls below 200 cells/mm3 or <14% of the total lymphocyte count:
    • Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP)
    • Disseminated tuberculosis
    • Cryptosporidiosis
    • Microsporidiosis
    • Isosporiasis
    • Toxoplasmosis
    • Histoplasmosis
    • Cryptococcosis
    • Mycobacterium avium complex
    • Tuberculosis pericarditis or meningitis
    • Cytomegalovirus
    • Human herpesvirus-8 (Kaposi sarcoma)
    • JC virus (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy)
    • Hepatitis B virus
    • Penicilliosis marneffei
    • Bacterial species
  • Cell-mediated deficiency:
    • Hematologic malignancies
    • Lymphoma
    • High-dose glucocorticoid therapy
    • Autoimmune disorders
    • Viral infections
    • Cytotoxic drugs/chemotherapy
    • Radiation therapy
    • Associated with:
      • Legionella
      • Nocardia
      • Salmonella
      • Mycobacteria
  • Neutrophil impairment/depletion:
    • Cytotoxic drugs
    • Aplastic anemia
    • Drug reactions:
      • Dapsone
    • Neoplastic invasion of bone marrow
    • Arsenic
    • Penicillin
    • Chloramphenicol
    • Procainamide
    • Vitamin deficiencies
    • Associated with:
      • Staphylococcus and α-hemolytic Streptococcus
      • Enteric organisms and anaerobes
      • Invasive aspergillosis

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Opportunistic Infections." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307680/all/Opportunistic_Infections.
Opportunistic Infections. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307680/all/Opportunistic_Infections. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Opportunistic Infections. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307680/all/Opportunistic_Infections
Opportunistic Infections [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307680/all/Opportunistic_Infections.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Opportunistic Infections ID - 307680 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307680/all/Opportunistic_Infections PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -