Common infections associated with arthritis
Arthritis refers to inflammation of one or more joints, and it can result from a variety of causes, including infectious agents. There are several infections associated with arthritis, and they can lead to different types of arthritis. Some common infections linked to arthritis include:
- Bacterial Arthritis (Septic Arthritis):
- Bacterial arthritis occurs when bacteria enter a joint and cause infection. This condition is often characterized by sudden joint pain, swelling, warmth, and reduced joint mobility.
- Common bacteria responsible for septic arthritis include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus species, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
- Viral Arthritis:
- Certain viral infections can lead to arthritis as part of their clinical manifestations. Common viruses associated with viral arthritis include:
- Hepatitis C: It can cause polyarthritis, where multiple joints are affected.
- Rubella (German Measles): Rubella infection can lead to arthralgia (joint pain) or arthritis, especially in adults.
- Parvovirus B19: This virus is associated with a type of arthritis called “erythema infectiosum” or “fifth disease.”
- Lyme Disease:
- Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through the bite of infected ticks.
- If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to Lyme arthritis, which often affects large joints like the knee and causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
- Tuberculosis (TB):
- TB can affect various parts of the body, including the joints. Tuberculous arthritis typically affects the weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees.
- Joint TB can result from the spread of Mycobacterium tuberculosis through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
- Fungal Infections:
- Fungal infections, such as coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) and histoplasmosis, can sometimes cause arthritis when fungal spores or particles infect the joint.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs):
- Certain STIs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, can lead to a form of arthritis known as reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome.
- Reactive arthritis typically involves joint pain, inflammation, and may also affect other organs like the eyes and urinary tract.
It’s important to note that not all infections result in arthritis, and the development of infectious arthritis can vary from person to person. Timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment of the underlying infection are essential in managing infectious arthritis effectively. Additionally, some infections can lead to chronic forms of arthritis, while others may resolve with treatment of the underlying infection. If you suspect you have an infection that may be associated with arthritis, it’s important to seek medical attention for proper evaluation and management.