HIV/TB co-infection: literature review and report of multiple tuberculosis oral ulcers.

Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine, Medunsa Oral Health Centre Faculty of Dentistry, University of Limpopo, South Africa.
SADJ: journal of the South African Dental Association = tydskrif van die Suid-Afrikaanse Tandheelkundige Vereniging 10/2005; 60(8):330-2, 343.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human immunodeficiency virus/tuberculosis (HIV/TB) co-infected subjects demonstrate enhanced HIV replication and plasma viremia; CD4+ T-cell depletion; morbidity and mortality; and susceptibility to secondary bacterial and fungal infections compared to subjects solely infected with HIV. As the incidence of HIV/TB infection has been increasing, one would have expected to encounter oral lesions of tuberculosis more frequently. However, such oral lesions are uncommon. The lesions usually occur as ulcerations of the tongue. We report an additional case in an HIV/TB co-infected 39 year-old black male, who presented with chronic, painless, multiple oral ulcers, occurring simultaneously on the tongue, bilaterally on the palate and mucosa of the alveolar ridge. Microscopic examination confirmed the presence of chronic necrotizing granulomatous inflammation, with the identification of acid fast bacilli in the affected oral mucosal tissue. Anti-retroviral and anti-tuberculous treatment resulted in the resolution of the oral lesions. Confirmatory histopathological diagnosis following a biopsy is essential to determine the exact nature of chronic oral ulceration in an HIV individual and especially to distinguish between oral squamous cell carcimoma, lymphoma, infection (bacterial or fungal) and non-specific or aphthous type ulceration.

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    ABSTRACT: We present a case of primary oral tuberculosis that led to the diagnosis of HIV infection. Our patient had clinically nonspecific ulcers on the labial mucosa and on the ventral surface of the tongue which were diagnosed as being tuberculous only on histological examination. This raised the suspicion of HIV infection that was subsequently confirmed by blood tests. The oral lesions resolved after 4 weeks of antituberculosis treatment. Some aspects of the pathogenesis of HIV-tuberculosis coinfection are discussed.
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