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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Case Ties Alemtuzumab to Nocardia Brain Infection

Female patient had history of anorexia, which may have contributed



A patient developed a cerebral Nocardia infection while taking the immunosuppressive agent alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, adding to a list of opportunistic infections seen with the drug, researchers said.

The woman, in her late 40s, developed the infection 5 months after an initial course of alemtuzumab. Her history of anorexia may have contributed to the problem, Thomas Korn, MD, of Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany, and colleagues reported online in JAMA Neurology.


"Physicians should be cautious when considering alemtuzumab in patients with MS and suspected altered cellular immunity of any origin, including a low body mass index," they wrote.

Alemtuzumab is a humanized monoclonal IgG1 antibody against the protein CD52 that is expressed in many types of immune cells, and it depletes circulating T cells, B cells, natural killer cells, and some monocytes.

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