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Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a sarcoid factor? A case report of family sarcoidosis

Wojciech J. Piotrowski, Paweł Górski, Joanna Duda-Szymańska, Sylwia Kwiatkowska

(Department of Pneumology and Allergy, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland)

Am J Case Rep 2014; 15:216-220

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.890014


Background: Sarcoidosis is a granulomatous inflammatory disease that is induced by unknown antigen(s) in a genetically susceptible host. Although the direct link between Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection and sarcoidosis can be excluded on the basis of a current knowledge, the non-infectious mechanisms may explain the causative role of mycobacterial antigens. The co-incidence of tuberculosis (TB) and sarcoidosis, and higher incidence of mycobacterial DNA in biological samples of sarcoid patients, have been reported by many authors.
Case Report: We present a case in which MTB infection in 1 family member triggered a sarcoid reaction in the infected subject and 2 other non-infected family members. We discuss different aspects of diagnosis and differentiation, as well as up-to-date hypotheses on the possible mechanisms leading to sarcoid inflammation in patients exposed to MTB.
Conclusions: This case series documents the possibility of familial spreading of sarcoidosis, and points to MTB as a potential etiological factor.

This paper has been published under Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) allowing to download articles and share them with others as long as they credit the authors and the publisher, but without permission to change them in any way or use them commercially.
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