Contemporary infectious exanthems: an update

Future Microbiol. 2017 Feb:12:171-193. doi: 10.2217/fmb-2016-0147. Epub 2016 Nov 14.


An exanthem is a skin rash that may be associated with mucous membrane eruption, fever or other symptoms. It may develop as manifestation of an infectious disease or as adverse reaction to drugs. Beside the 'classical exanthems' commonly occurring in childhood, other exanthems, defined as 'atypical' for the different morphology and causal agents, may occur. Among the atypical exanthems with infectious etiology, viral, bacterial, parasitic and helminth infections are implicated. We describe herein etiology and epidemiology of the atypical exanthems caused by infectious agents. In case of exanthem, to make a correct etiological diagnosis is crucial for both the patient and community concerning issues such as time off school, immunizations and risk in pregnancy and immunocompromised individuals.

Keywords: bacteria; diagnosis; exanthem; parasite; skin eruption; skin infection; skin rash; virus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria
  • Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exanthema / diagnosis*
  • Exanthema / microbiology*
  • Exanthema / parasitology*
  • Exanthema / virology*
  • Helminthiasis / diagnosis
  • Helminths
  • Humans
  • Parasites
  • Parasitic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Virus Diseases / diagnosis
  • Viruses