Volume 88, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



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.


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  • Received : 17 Jul 2012
  • Accepted : 13 Oct 2012
  • Published online : 06 Feb 2013

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