Syphilis infection in an HIV patient presenting with leukemoid reaction: Case report and review of the literature

Infect Dis Rep. 2018 Mar 29;10(1):7410. doi: 10.4081/idr.2018.7410.


Leukemoid reaction (LR) is an uncommon though dreadful sign for the treating physician, as it is related to increased mortality. In the few series that have addressed its incidence and clinical significance, infectious causes count for about half of the cases of LR, the rest accounting for cancer, drugs or rarer causes. In the HIV setting, it represents an even rarer event, owing probably to the impaired granulocytic response of AIDS patients to bacterial agents. However no report exists as to the incidence of LR to the immune-restored HIV patients adequately treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART). Syphilis is a well known cause of mild lymphocytosis, though only one report of LR exists in the congenital setting. We hereby report a case of an HIV patient adequately treated with ART, who presented with LR with a lymphomonocytic preponderance after infection with treponema pallidum.

Keywords: HIV; leukemoid reaction; syphilis.

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