An Atypical Presentation of Visceral Leishmaniasis Infection in a Patient With Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated With Infliximab

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Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is a cytokine, implicated in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory diseases, as well as in the immune-mediated response to infection, especially against intracellular pathogens. TNF-α antagonists have represented a revolution in the management of connective tissue diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, the use of these agents has been implicated with the emergence of a growing number of opportunistic infections. Here we report the case of a visceral Leishmaniasis in a 77-year-old woman who had been previously treated for rheumatoid arthritis with infliximab. The atypical presentation of this patient, previously treated with an anti-TNF-α biologic agent, where no splenomegaly or hepatomegaly was identified, is emphasized.

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