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Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2008;41 Suppl 2:67-72.

Association between leprosy reactions after treatment and bacterial load evaluated using anti PGL-I serology and bacilloscopy.

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Dermatology, Clinical Hospital, Federal University of Pernambuco, PE, Brazil.


Leprosy (Hansen's disease, HD) reactions are immune-inflammatory phenomena that occur during the evolution of the disease. Given the current criteria for treatment of the disease, this event is often observed after the patient has been released from treatment (RFT) from multi-drug therapy (MDT). A case-control study was conducted comparing laboratory results of cases of leprosy reactions after RFT from multibacillary MDT (MDT/MB) with a control group to analyze the possible association between posttreatment reactions and bacterial load using the ML Flow serological test for detection of antibodies to Mycobacterium leprae and the results of bacilloscopic skin smears. The study was conducted in two reference centers in Recife, Pernambuco State, Brazil, involving 208 patients. The results obtained indicate that posttreatment reaction is statistically associated with bacterial load through positive serology post-RFT. In conclusion, common risk factors exist between relapses and post-RFT reactions.

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