Tags: Leprosy

Leishmania

The genera Leishmania and Trypanosoma are members of the family Trypanosomatidae. These protozoans cause diseases with widely varied clinical presentations as well as geographic distributions, including leishmaniasis, American trypanosomiasis (Chagas’ disease), and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness).

Paracoccidioidomycosis

Paracoccidioidomycosis is caused by Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Also known as South American blastomycosis, it is the most prevalent systemic mycosis found in Central and South America and is the most common endemic mycosis in this area. Paracoccidioidomycosis is acquired only in Central and South America and ranges from Mexico to Argentina.

Treponema Pallidum

The term syphilis was first used in 1530 by the Italian physician Girolamo Fracastoro in his epic poem Syphilis Sive Morbus Gallicus. Much has been learned since then about this sexually transmitted disease caused by T pallidum.

Other Mycobacteria

The increasingly relative importance of the atypical mycobacteria, many of which are ubiquitous in the environment, was recognized with the decline in tuberculous disease. Generally, atypical mycobacteria are unusual causes of disease in patients who are immunocompetent but can in immunocompromised hosts such as AIDS and cancer patients.

Mycobacterium Leprae (Leprosy)

Although not a common problem in the United States, it is in other parts of the world. With the advent of effective antimicrobial agents, the number of cases of leprosy worldwide has fallen from 12 million in 1982 to 6 million in 1991. It remains a significant problem, however, because the incidence of new cases has not yet declined, and much of the affected population lives in areas where effective medical treatment is difficult to obtain.

Tuberculosis

Approximately one-third of the world’s population is infected with M tuberculosis, according to World Health Organization estimates, resulting in 2.9 million annual deaths. In the United States, tuberculosis is on the rise, after several decades of steady decline.

Dapsone (Aczone)

The most frequent adverse effects of dapsone are dose-related hemolytic anemia and methemoglobinemia. Hemolysis occurs in most patients receiving 200 mg or more of dapsone daily; however, symptomatic anemia occurs only occasionally. The manufacturer states that the hemoglobin level is generally decreased by 1-2 g/dL, the reticulocyte count is increased 2-12%, erythrocyte life span is shortened, and methemoglobinemia occurs in most patients receiving dapsone. Heinz body formation also occurs frequently.