Hanseniasis Outpatient Unit, Laboratory of Medical Investigation Units 56 and 53, Division of Dermatology, Clinics Hospital, Medical School, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Health Institute, São Paulo State Health Department, Brazil; Laboratory of Medical Mycology, Tropical Medicine Institute, University of São Paulo, Brazil; Stichting Tropen Dermatologie Munnekeburen, The Netherlands.
A review of the records of patients seen between 2004 and 2011 at the Dermatology Clinic of the São Paulo University Medical School showed that only two leprosy patients had been co-infected with tuberculosis (TB). One patient showed a type 1 leprosy reaction during the first 3 months of treatment of pleural TB and in the other patient, pulmonary TB was diagnosed during the first 3 months of treatment of a type 1 leprosy reaction. Both patients showed normal cellular immune response tests, including those of the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)/interleukin 12 (IL-12) axis. Although both mycobacterial infections are endemic in developing countries like Brazil, the co-infection has hardly been reported in the last decade. There is no suitable explanation for this observation. The reports on the interaction between the two mycobacteria are highly speculative: some studies suggest that leprosy, especially the anergic form, would predispose to TB, whereas other investigations suggested an antagonism between the two diseases.
After service in the British SAS Regiment the author became a physician and then an orthopaedic surgeon.
He has held professorial positions in Canada, Vietnam and the United States, practiced and taught orthopaedic surgery in three continents and in several wars.
He has extensive experience as an expert witness in court. Somewhere along the way, time was found to operate a four hundred acre mixed farm, a one hundred seat restaurant and to obtain a licence as a flying instructor.
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