Autoimmune bullous dermatoses (ABD) compromise the skin's innate barrier function for preventing infection. Treating patients with ABD frequently requires systemic immunosuppressive therapy, often with multiple agents. Currently, no pretreatment infection testing guidelines are available for clinicians caring for patients with ABD. We performed a systematic literature review in other medical disciplines that use similar iatrogenic immunosuppressive medications to treat various diseases and conditions and developed infection-testing recommendations for patients with ABD before initiating immunosuppressive therapy. Assessing individual patient risk factors for latent infection and preventable communicable diseases can direct testing for select infections before starting immunosuppressive therapy. Testing patients for hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection is recommended before initiating rituximab treatment.
© 2014 British Association of Dermatologists.