Malakoplakia is a rare chronic inflammatory disease. It most commonly involves the urogenital system (reproductive organs and urinary system), but may also be found in other regions of the body, including the pelvis, bones, lungs, thyroid gland, gastrointestinal (digestive) tract, skin, and kidneys. Symptoms of malakoplakia differ depending on the involved area. For example, when the skin is affected the malakoplakia may appear rash-like with small areas of itchy, reddened skin that may be painful and/or fluid filled.
The cause of malakoplakia is not well understood. It is thought to be related to an issue with the function of one’s macrophages, which are one type of cell within the immune system that respond to foreign invaders (bacteria). E.coli is the most common type of bacteria that leads to malakoplakia. Individuals with a compromised immune system have an elevated risk to develop malakoplakia. Treatment typically begins with antibiotics.