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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Mar;64(3):593-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.10.004. Epub 2010 May 21.

Hansen's disease (leprosy) complicated by secondary mycobacterial infection.

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National Hansen's Disease Programs Clinical Branch, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816, USA.


A patient with Hansen's disease received corticosteroids for a type 1 leprosy reaction and subsequently developed a new cutaneous lesion at the original biopsy site from which Mycobacterium fortuitum was cultured. A review of the literature found only two other cases of coinfection with atypical mycobacteria and Mycobacterium leprae, although there are many reports of pulmonary tuberculosis in patients with leprosy. This case highlights the diagnostic difficulties encountered when a patient has two different mycobacterial infections of the skin. The published experience emphasizes that such coinfection is remarkably uncommon in leprosy, despite the frequent use of high doses of corticosteroids for leprosy reactions.

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