Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) may occur in HIV-infected patients after starting highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Since 2003, 19 cases were published as IRIS. Leprosy has been reported as an example of an IRIS, and it is important that this syndrome should be recognized in leprosy-endemic areas. The case definition of leprosy as IRIS is based on clinical presentation of leprosy, evidence of immune restoration and timing of onset. Case definition should include the following: (1) leprosy and/or leprosy type 1 reaction presenting within six months of starting HAART; (2) advanced HIV infection; (3) low CD4+ count before start HAART; (4) CD4+ count increasing after HAART has been started. Although pathogenic mechanisms are still unclear, it is likely that leprosy-associated IRIS will be increasingly reported in those countries endemic for both diseases and as access to HAART becomes more widely available.
This randomized, single blind clinical trial was performed to compare the efficacy and toxicity of BP88 Sodium Stibogluconate (SS) to Glucantime(R) (N-methyl-glucamine), (GL). Sixty-three patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups: 32 patients were treated with GL and 3l patients were treated with SS. Both groups received 15mg Sb+5/kg/day for 20 days. Toxicity was evaluated through EKG, urea, creatinine, AST, ALT, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, and lipase, assessed before treatment, on day 10 and day 20 of treatment and 90 days after treatment. In the group treated with GL, 81% (26/32) of patients were cured compared to 77% (24/31) in the SS group. Five (16%) patients relapsed in the GL group compared to 6 (19%) in the SS group. One patient in each group did not respond to treatment. AST, ALT, amylase, and lipase were more elevated in the SS group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the efficacy of both treatments was similar although there was more toxicity in the ES group.
We describe two patients who underwent cardiac transplantation for chronic cardiomyopathy of Chagas' disease, and in whom the disease was reactivated with the development of cutaneous lesions. In both cases, the skin lesions regressed completely after 2 months of therapy with allopurinol.
Protective effects of Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccination and clofazimine and dapsone treatment against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have been reported. Patients at risk for leprosy represent an interesting model for assessing the effects of these therapies on the occurrence and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We assessed the influence of leprosy-related variables in the occurrence and severity of COVID-19.
We performed a 14-month prospective real-world cohort study in which the main risk factor was 2 previous vaccinations with BCG and the main outcome was COVID-19 detection by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A Cox proportional hazards model was used. Among the 406 included patients, 113 were diagnosed with leprosy. During follow-up, 69 (16.99%) patients contracted COVID-19. Survival analysis showed that leprosy was associated with COVID-19 (p<0.001), but multivariate analysis showed that only COVID-19-positive household contacts (hazard ratio (HR) = 8.04; 95% CI = 4.93–13.11) and diabetes mellitus (HR = 2.06; 95% CI = 1.04–4.06) were significant risk factors for COVID-19.
Leprosy patients are vulnerable to COVID-19 because they have more frequent contact with SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, possibly due to social and economic limitations. Our model showed that the use of corticosteroids, thalidomide, pentoxifylline, clofazimine, or dapsone or BCG vaccination did not affect the occurrence or severity of COVID-19.
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