The complexity of the MS patient’s management is constantly growing. Consequently, the MS care unit requires a multidisciplinary approach, including an infectious disease specialist to minimise the risk of infectious complications related both to the disease and DMTs.
We retrospectively evaluated the infectious disease consultations performed from 2015 to 2019 in our MS centre.
We identified 107 patients with at least one infectious disease consultation out of 1088 patients. We found a progressive increase in the number of consultations from 2015 to 2019. Nearly half of the consultations were requested at the time of starting MS treatment. The most frequent requests were represented by chronic or acute infections. The most prevalent infectious agents were Herpesviridae and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Antibiotic or antiviral treatment and prophylactic treatment or vaccination represented together the most frequent outcomes of the consultations. Finally, a treatment delay was significantly associated with the advice of a prophylactic treatment or of a vaccination.
There is an increasing awareness of the potential infectious complications of MS and of exposure to DMTs. The interaction between the MS neurologist and infectious disease specialist is fundamental to minimise the infectious risk related to the disease and to the DMTs, with a progressive shift from complication management to a broader prevention workup at the time of MS diagnosis, including both vaccination and prophylactic treatments.