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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. 49-54
Bioline Code: oc12139
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 107, No. s1, 2012, pp. 49-54

 en Characteristics of leprosy diagnosed through the surveillance of contacts: a comparison with index cases in Rio de Janeiro, 1987-2010
Hacker, Mariana de Andrea; Duppre, Nadia Cristina; Nery, José Augusto Costa; Sales, Anna Maria & Sarno, Euzenir Nunes


Contact surveillance is an important strategy to ensure effective early diagnosis and control of leprosy; passive detection may not be as efficient because it is directly tied to the ready availability of heath care services and health education campaigns. The aim of this study was to reinforce that contact surveillance is the most effective strategy for the control of leprosy. The analysed data were obtained from a cohort of contacts and cases diagnosed through a national referral service for leprosy. We analysed data from patients diagnosed between 1987-2010 at the Souza Araújo Ambulatory in Rio de Janeiro. Epidemiological characteristics of leprosy cases diagnosed through contact surveillance and characteristics of passively detected index cases were compared using a conditional logistic regression model. Cases diagnosed by contact surveillance were found earlier in the progression of the disease, resulting in less severe clinical presentations, lower levels of initial and final disability grades, lower initial and final bacterial indices and a lower prevalence of disease reaction. In this respect, contact surveillance proved to be an effective tertiary prevention strategy, indicating that active surveillance is especially important in areas of high endemicity, such as Brazil.

surveillance - contact - leprosy

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