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Braz J Infect Dis. 2003 Aug;7(4):273-7.

Atypical presentation of syphilis in an HTLV-I infected patient.

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Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


We report the case of a 44 year-old female, who presented a long-lasting, clinically atypical, secondary syphilis ("malignant syphilis") in the right foot, which started six months before medical evaluation. The patient had a serological diagnosis of HTLV-I infection and syphilis two years before the onset of the skin lesions, following a blood donation. As she believed she was allergic to penicillin, she initially received sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim, without any improvement of the clinical picture. After failure of this first treatment regimen, she was given penicillin, which promoted complete healing of the lesion. We found evidence that infection by HTLV-I is capable of modifying the clinical course of secondary syphilis.

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