HIV infection as a risk factor for septic arthritis

A Saraux, H Taelman, P Blanche, J Batungwanayo, J Clerinx, A Kagame, L Kabagabo, J Ladner, P Van De Perre, P Le Goff, J Bogaerts

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We prospectively studied the demographics, the clinical and diagnostic features, the HIV-1 serostatus and the therapeutic response for all new patients with septic arthritis (SA) admitted to the Department of Internal Medicine of the Centre Hospitalier de Kigali, Rwanda, over a 19 month period. SA was diagnosed in 24 patients (10 male, 14 female), of whom 19 (79%) were HIV-1 seropositive (HIVpos). Gonococcal arthritis was found in four patients, all HIVpos. Non-gonococcal bacterial arthritis was established in 16 patients, of whom 13 were HIVpos. Causative organisms involved in this group and the corresponding HIV-1 serostatus of the patients were: Staphylococcus aureus: 4; 2 HIVpos. 2 HIVneg: Streptococcus pneumoniae: 4; 4 HIVpos; Salmonella group B: 2; 2 HIVpos; Streptococcus group D: 1; 1 HIVpos; Klebsiella pneumoniae: 1; 1 HIVpos; undetermined: 4; 3 HIVpos; 1 HIVneg. Tuberculous arthritis was presumed in four patients, of whom two were HIVpos. HIV-1-associated SA had a classical acute presentation and an overall good prognosis Compared to a control group consisting of hospitalized patients with malaria as the sole diagnosis, patients with SA were more likely to be infected with HIV-1 (P = 0.005, or 6.3; 95% CI 1.7 22.2). Prevalence rate estimates of SA among HIVpos and HIVneg patients were 0.5 and 0.25%, respectively (P = 0.38). We conclude that HIV-1 infection appears as a risk factor for SA among patients hospitalized at the Centre Hospitalier de Kigali, but that SA cannot be used as a predictor for HIV-1 infection for hospitalized patients. SA occurs infrequently and may present at any stage of HIV-1 infection
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Rheumatology
Pages (from-to)333-337
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • B780-tropical-medicine
  • Viral diseases
  • Rheumatology
  • Arthritis
  • HIV-1
  • Epidemiology
  • Treatment
  • Antibiotics
  • Risk factors
  • Rwanda
  • Africa-Central


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