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Revista Cubana de Medicina

versión impresa ISSN 0034-7523versión On-line ISSN 1561-302X


RAMOS RIOS, María Antonia; ROMAN, Aylín Ruiz; RODRIGUEZ, Yosvany López  y  CORBO, Levis Verde. Stress, infections and immunodeficiency in a health professional. Rev cubana med [online]. 2021, vol.60, n.2, e904.  Epub 01-Jun-2021. ISSN 0034-7523.


Health professionals are constantly exposed to stressful situations. In particular, nurses, dedicated to the care of critical patients, are more affected by work stress, which negatively impacts their mental health and predisposes them to infections. This shows the close psychoneuroimmunendocrine interrelation.


To describe the clinical and immunological consequences of chronic work stress in a intensivist nurse.

Case report:

The 39-year-old patient had recurrent varicella zoster infections as well as skin furunculosis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and vaginal candidiasis in one year. Marked neutropenia, monocytopenia, and hypogammaglobulinemia were noted. Flow cytometry showed a decrease in CD4 + T helper lymphocytes and CD19 + B lymphocytes. Immunodeficiency secondary to chronic work stress and severe depression was diagnosed. Immunomodulatory therapy with subcutaneous transfer factor (Hebertrans) and vitamin therapy improved her immunity.


Immunocompetent health workers exposed to high levels of stress, the presence of recurrent or multiple infections of varied etiology in a short time may be associated with potentially reversible immunodeficiency if the cause is controlled or eliminated.

Palabras clave : chronic work stress; Nursing; varicella zoster infection; immunodeficiency.

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