Definition of serum sickness in English:

serum sickness


  • An allergic reaction to an injection of serum, typically mild and characterized by skin rashes, joint stiffness, and fever.

    ‘An illness resembling serum sickness occurs in about 10% of patients with acute hepatitis B infection and 5-10% of patients with acute hepatitis C infection.’
    • ‘Joint involvement tends to be symmetric in systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyalgia rheumatica, viral arthritides, and serum sickness reactions.’
    • ‘CMV infection, serum sickness, or another viral illness rarely causes a false-positive heterophil antibody test.’
    • ‘Symptoms vary with the drug and the sensitivity of the affected person, but include, as separate reactions, hives, serum sickness, and, sometimes, anaphylaxis.’
    • ‘Furthermore, equine-derived antitoxin carries with it the risk of side effects, the most worrisome of which include serum sickness and anaphylactic reaction.’
    • ‘Rarely the drug may cause a reaction resembling serum sickness.’
    • ‘Viruses, crystals, and serum sickness reactions are known causes of acute, self-limited polyarthritis.’
    • ‘Late serum sickness reactions can be treated with oral H1 blockers or corticosteroids.’
    • ‘In retrospective studies, rates for acute allergic reactions range from 23 to 56 percent, with even higher rates for delayed serum sickness.’
    • ‘It is perhaps significant that this was a secondary infection: among the historic cases listed in the Table, 3 were associated with serum sickness or hyperimmunization, implying prior exposure to antigens.’
    • ‘Antivenins contain a fairly hefty chunk of horse serum, and if big doses are used (such as for brown snakes in Queensland or with inexperienced users) serum sickness results and may need steroids.’
    • ‘The courageous eight-year-old was taken to hospital suffering from what is believed to be a bout of serum sickness.’


serum sickness

/ˈsirəm ˈsiknis/ /ˈsɪrəm ˈsɪknɪs/