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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 107, No. s1, 2012, pp. 17-21
Bioline Code: oc12134
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 107, No. s1, 2012, pp. 17-21

 en Historic aspects of human susceptibility to leprosy and the risk of conjugal transmission
Joyce, M Patricia

Abstract

Estimates of genetic susceptibility to leprosy were made in the past from observational reports in familial settings using descriptive epidemiologic data. Risk of conjugal transmission of leprosy (from one spouse to another) has been estimated between 1-10% and is thought to occur in 3-5% of spouses exposed to untreated lepromatous disease in the partner. Risk of secondary transmission is presumed higher in other family members than for the conjugal partner. This belief has become dogma to many leprologists who may no longer know the basis for this estimation. This article reviews the historic epidemiologic descriptions of risk for leprosy transmission in married couples compared to other family members. Although uncommon, conjugal leprosy occurs and at higher rates in populations with traditional familial intermarriage and consanguinity.

Keywords
leprosy - genetic susceptibility - consanguinity

 
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