Visceral leishmaniasis with associated immune dysregulation leading to lymphoma

Nwamaka M. Osakwe, Andrew Paulus, Paul F. Haggerty, Roger A. Wood, Sara J. Becker, Peter J. Weina, Matthew J. Dolan, Vidhya Prakash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: We describe an atypical presentation of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) complicated by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-lymphoproliferative disorder and angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma in a U.S. Government contractor recently deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Methods: We performed a search of PubMed (1966-2012) using the terms visceral, leishmaniasis, operation, iraqi, freedom, desert, storm, EBV, lymphoproliferative, angioimmunoblastic, and lymphoma. The purpose of the search was two-fold: to find reported cases of VL during U.S. military operations and to ascertain if lymphoproliferative disorder (specifically, because of EBV) was ever described as a sequelae of VL. Results: Case series of VL acquired in the Middle East between 1990 and 2012 showed that while fever, abdominal pain, and hepatosplenomegaly were common signs and symptoms of VL, diffuse lymphadenopathy (our patient's presentation) was rare. Moreover, VL in and of itself lends to profound immune dysregulation, leading to a myriad of complications to include EBV-lymphoproliferative diseases. Conclusions: Diffuse lymphadenopathy because of VL is a very atypical presentation for infection acquired in the Middle East. Clinicians must be mindful of the extreme immune dysfunction that occurs as a result of this potentially fatal infection and the associated complications to include EBV-related lymphoproliferative disorders and lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e386-e389
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


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