Background: Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) is an unusual inflammatory reaction to an opportunistic infection that occurs in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients with profound immunosuppression during the reconstitution of the immune system in the initial months of highly active antiretroviral treatment.
Observations: We describe 3 cases of leprosy occurring in patients treated with a combination of 3 antiretroviral drugs who fulfilled the criteria for IRIS. A reactional state occurred in all 3 cases. Two of the 3 patients presented an unusual ulcerous progression of the lesions not generally observed in cases of leprosy. The outcome was favorable in all 3 cases. The frequency of IRIS associated with leprosy in French Guiana and Martinique is estimated at 3 cases per 1000 HIV-positive patients receiving highly active antiretroviral treatment.
Conclusion: Leprosy should be recognized as an IRIS-associated infection with possibility of atypical presentation.