Development of Leprosy in a Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis During Treatment with Etanercept: A Case Report

Department of Rheumatology, Hospital Mateu Orfila, Menorca, Spain. Electronic address: .
Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism (Impact Factor: 3.93). 04/2012; 42(2):127-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2012.03.003
Source: PubMed


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder. There is a clear association between some disease-modifying drugs used to treat RA and infection. The introduction of the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapies has improved the outcome of severe RA. The TNF-antagonism may increase susceptibility to granulomatous pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Listeria monocytogenes, and Histoplasma capsulatum.
We report the case of a 37-year-old woman with RA receiving an anti-TNF agent, who developed a rash on her back and both legs, which was finally diagnosed as tuberculoid leprosy.
This is the first case of leprosy due to anti-TNF therapy reported in Europe.
Clinicians should be aware of this and other types of atypical and serious infections that patients may suffer from when treated with anti-TNF agents.

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