In general, infectious diseases are more frequent and/or serious in patients with diabetes mellitus, which potentially increases their morbimortality. The greater frequency of infections in diabetic patients is caused by the hyperglycemic environment that favors immune dysfunction (e.g., damage to the neutrophil function, depression of the antioxidant system, and humoral immunity), micro- and macro-angiopathies, neuropathy, decrease in the antibacterial activity of urine, gastrointestinal and urinary dysmotility, and greater number of medical interventions in these patients. The infections affect all organs and systems. Some of these problems are seen mostly in diabetic people, such as foot infections, malignant external otitis, rhinocerebral mucormycosis, and gangrenous cholecystitis. In addition to the increased morbidity, infectious processes may be the first manifestation of diabetes mellitus or the precipitating factors for complications inherent to the disease, such as diabetic ketoacidosis and hypoglycemia. Immunization with anti-pneumococcal and influenza vaccines is recommended to reduce hospitalizations, deaths, and medical expenses.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; immunization; infections; vaccines.