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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 96, No. 8, 2001, pp. 1129-1133
Bioline Code: oc01216
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 96, No. 8, 2001, pp. 1129-1133

 en Detection of Mycobacterium leprae check for this species in other resources DNA by Polymerase Chain Reaction in the Blood of Individuals, Eight Years after Completion of Anti-leprosy Therapy
Adalberto Rezende Santos; Vivian Balassiano; Maria Leide W Oliveira; Marcia Aparecida da Silva Pereira; Patricia Barros Santos; Wim Maurits Degrave & Philip Noel Suffys


Thirty eight patients with indeterminate leprosy (HI), at least 4 to 6 years after discharge from multibacillary (MB) or paucibacillary (PB) schemes of anti leprosy multidrug therapy (MDT), were submitted to traditional diagnostic procedures for leprosy and to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of different clinical samples for detection of Mycobacterium leprae DNA. No significant difference was observed for any of the parameters analyzed between PB or MB schemes of treatment and no indications were found for more efficient outcome of HI using the MB scheme. Remarkably, 18 (54.5%) of the individuals were PCR positive in at least one of the samples: positivity of PCR was highest in blood samples and four individuals were PCR positive in blood and some other sample. Upon comparison of PCR results with clinical and histopathological parameters, no correlation was found between PCR-positivity and eventual relapse. This is the first report on detection of M. leprae DNA in PB patients, more than half a decade after completion of MDT, suggesting that live bacilli are present and circulating much longer than expected, although reinfection of the individuals can not be excluded. Overall, we feel that because of the high sensitivity of the assay, extreme care should be taken about association of PCR results, efficacy of treatment and disease status.

Mycobacterium leprae, PCR, diagnosis, therapy, post-treatment, paucibacillary leprosy

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