Infections in Patients Receiving Multiple Sclerosis Disease-Modifying Therapies

Elena Grebenciucova*, Amy Pruitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This paper will systemically review the risk of infections associated with current disease-modifying treatments and will discuss pre-treatment testing recommendations, infection monitoring strategies, and patient education. Recent Findings: Aside from glatiramer acetate and interferon-beta therapies, all other multiple sclerosis treatments to various degrees impair immune surveillance and may predispose patients to the development of both community-acquired and opportunistic infections. Some of these infections are rarely seen in neurologic practice, and neurologists should be aware of how to monitor for these infections and how to educate patients about medication-specific risks. Of particular interest in this discussion is the risk of PML in association with the recently approved B cell depleting therapy, ocrelizumab, particularly when switching from natalizumab. Summary: The risk of infection in association with MS treatments has become one of the most important factors in the choice of therapy. Balance of the overall risk versus benefit should be continuously re-evaluated during treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Central nervous system opportunistic infections
  • Fingolimod
  • Multiple sclerosis disease-modifying therapy
  • Natalizumab
  • Ocrelizumab
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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