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 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids ... Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, ... run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, ...
(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)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First Healthcare Compliance ... management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at the 68th ... and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company ... of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every ... meet the highest standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, ... post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an ... has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... Oct. 5, 2017  In response to the ... and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that ... be used as a first-line therapy to manage ... Recognizing the value and ... Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for ... the end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the ... as mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... and Consulting, LLC , and named its founder as ... in Tennessee , will operate under ... EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care partners to include ... "In an interoperable world, technology delivers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: