Patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases, such as Rheumatic Arthritis (RA), have approximately twice the risk of infectious diseases compared with the normal population. This increased susceptibility may be attributed to both disease-associated immunoregulatory imbalances, as well as to chronic use of immunosuppressive drugs. One of the key mechanistic elements that leads to the increased vulnerability to infection is the inhibitory effect of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) on lymphocyte proliferation and the associated lymphocytopenia. In addition, the lymphocyte counts of DMARD-treated patients may decrease to levels comparable with those of HIV patients. For more information regarding the article, kindly go throught the above link.