Navigation Links
U.S. Man Diagnosed With HIV Develops Leprosy
Date:10/19/2011

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Ohio doctors report they got a diagnostic surprise when an HIV patient tested positive for the bacterium that causes leprosy.

What was even more surprising was that the initial infection most likely occurred decades earlier, from exposure to an armadillo.

Soon after starting treatment for the HIV infection, the Ohio man developed lesions on his skin that didn't respond to antibiotic treatment. His doctors eventually confirmed that the lesions were caused by Mycobacterium leprae bacteria, an infection more commonly known as leprosy.

"With the way he presented, typically, any clinician would think of an infection with bacteria, and that's what we were thinking, but he was not responding to regular antibiotic treatment," said Dr. Madhuri Sopirala, the lead author of a letter on the unusual case in the Oct. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

And, it was his failure to respond to antibiotic treatment that prompted his physicians to look for less common reasons for the man's condition.

Leprosy, which is also called Hansen's disease, is quite uncommon in the United States. In 2008, the last year for which statistics are available, just 150 people contracted Hansen's disease in the United States, according to the National Hansen's Disease Program. The majority of these cases occurred in California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York and Texas.

The main symptom of the disease is skin lesions that may be raised or flat, light-colored or pigmented, and there may be no feeling within the skin lesion. The disease can only be diagnosed through a skin biopsy, and long-term treatment with antibiotics is effective when started early.

People who live in Texas or Louisiana are more likely to contract Hansen's disease, as are people who've traveled to parts of the world where leprosy is still common.

In April, Hansen's disease experts added armadillo exposure to the list of possible risk factors, cautioning that people should stay away from armadillos.

In the case of the Ohio man, however, he hadn't been around armadillos since he was a teenager. He was 41 when he was diagnosed with Hansen's disease. He had never traveled outside of the United States, and said he hadn't been around anyone who had lived in areas where leprosy was still common. He had lived in Ohio all of his adult life, but had grown up in Mississippi, where he hunted armadillos as a teenager and touched their carcasses.

"The long duration of incubation is not a surprise to people who deal with this disease -- 20 years' incubation is not outside of our experience," said Dr. David Scollard, chief of the clinical branch and a pathologist at the National Hansen's Disease Program. "And, we have certainly seen this turn up as an opportunistic infection in people who are immunosuppressed: people with HIV, people who have had heart or kidney transplants, people receiving chemotherapy, [and people on certain medications that dampen the immune system response]. The biggest problem we have is that most clinicians don't think of it."

Sopirala, who is with the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, said that if someone has symptoms consistent with leprosy, such as skin lesions that have no feeling of pain, and the symptoms don't improve with antibiotic treatment, leprosy should be considered as a possible diagnosis, especially if someone lives or has lived in an area of the southern United States where armadillo exposure is a possibility.

"This was a nice piece of detective work," Dr. Richard Truman said of the study. "Leprosy remains a very rare disease, but it's another one of the diseases that should be considered with chronic [skin] lesions that don't respond to treatment," he said. Truman is a research scientist from the National Hansen's Disease Program at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

More information

Learn more about leprosy from the National Hansen's Disease Program.

SOURCES: Madhuri Sopirala, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, infectious disease, Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio; Richard Truman, Ph.D., research scientist, National Hansen's Disease Program, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.; David Scollard, M.D., Ph.D., chief, clinical branch, and pathologist, National Hansen's Disease Program, University of Chicago; Oct. 20, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Twice as Many Women May Soon Be Diagnosed With Gestational Diabetes
2. MRI finds tumors in second breast of women diagnosed with cancer in one breast, Mayo researchers say
3. Children with autistic traits remain undiagnosed
4. Many With Serious Eating Disorders Could Go Undiagnosed
5. Fibromyalgia affects mental health of those diagnosed and their spouses, study finds
6. Altered brain development found in children with newly diagnosed epilepsy
7. Chopra Center Co-Founder and Mind-body Healing Pioneer David Simon, M.D. Diagnosed with Brain Tumor
8. Colitis patients diagnosed later in life tend to have better disease outcomes
9. Chronic Lyme disease: How often is it diagnosed and treated?
10. Drug combination shows promise for newly diagnosed blood cancer patients, study finds
11. Causes of death shifting in patients diagnosed with COPD
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
U.S. Man Diagnosed With HIV Develops Leprosy
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset ... of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will ... services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader ... been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ... the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, ... the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA ... the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about ... intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy ... especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in Wellness® by Best and ... Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Sept. 22, 2017  As ... by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and ... Kalorama Information notes that the medical device industry is ... the medical device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on ... Act.  But they also want covered patients, increased visits ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Ky. , Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ... predictive analytics, today announced that it has been ranked #1 ... Black Book™ Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was ... solution for large hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds ... Black Book,s healthcare technology user survey history. ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... has been named the official orthopedic and sports medicine ... 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship to be played ... Atlanta, Georgia . OrthoAtlanta is proud to be ... many activities leading up to, and including the national championship ... OrthoAtlanta serves ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: