Ankylosing spondylitis prostatitis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

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Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory immune-driven form of arthritis characterized by pain and progressive stiffness of the spine and other joints.

It is part of a group of rheumatic diseases termed "spondyloarthropathies". AS is “seronegative” (serum negative) because rheumatoid factor- a protein found in rheumatoid arthritis- is not detected in the blood of an AS patient.

AS is considered to be hereditary, although environmental factors have been suggested. Many people with AS are positive for the genetic marker, HLA-B27. It is known to affect white males about four times as often as females. Onset typically occurs between the ages of 15 and 45.

The possible association of AS with bacterial infection is an intriguing one. While the bowel is considered to be a primary site of entry, the site of the bacterial trigger for AS is not necessarily always the bowel. An association between AS and chronic bacterial prostatitis has long been observed. The incidence of chronic prostatitis in male AS patients was 83%, compared to 33% in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (Mason RM et al. BMJ 1958; 1: 748 ) This association was confirmed in a later study. (Mason RM et al. Rheum Phys Med 1971; 1: 78)

The fact that the prostate may harbor a bacteria which contributes to AS could explain the higher incidence of this disorder in males.

J Clin Microbiol. 1981 May; 13(5): 880–881.
Ankylosing spondylitis associated with Trichomonas vaginalis infection.
T T Kuberski


A patient is described who developed signs and symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis after prostatitis due to Trichomonas vaginalis. Chronic prostatitis of unknown cause had previously been reported as being common in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. The observations in this case raise the possibility that T. vaginalis might play a role in the prostatitis and pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis in some patients.

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