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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2010 Jul;104(7):490-5. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2010.03.006. Epub 2010 May 6.

Seropositivity to anti-phenolic glycolipid-I in leprosy cases, contacts and no known contacts of leprosy in an endemic and a non-endemic area in northeast Brazil.

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Departamento de Patologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Federal University of CearĂ¡, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.


The seroprevalence rates of IgM anti-phenolic glycolipid-I (PGL-I) antibodies in four study groups with differing exposure to Mycobacterium leprae in CearĂ¡, Brazil were investigated between March 2005 and August 2006. The first three groups in a high prevalence area included 144 cases of leprosy, their 380 contacts and 317 participants with no known leprosy contact. The fourth group in a low prevalence area consisted of 87 participants with no known leprosy contact living in an area in which no cases of leprosy had been reported in the previous 6 months. Seropositivity and levels of IgM antibodies to PGL-I were investigated using ELISA. The seropositivity levels of anti-PGL-I among the different clinical forms of leprosy cases were 61% for lepromatous, 25% for tuberculoid and 27% indeterminate. The levels of anti-PGL-I antibodies in the endemic area differentiated leprosy cases from non-cases. However, the seropositivity was similar among contact cases (15.8%) and no known leprosy contact cases from high (15.1%) and low (13.8%) prevalence areas. The seropositivity of both contacts and no known contacts was much higher than previously reported among no known contacts in other endemic areas. The study indicates that anti-PGL-I antibodies are not useful as immunological markers of household leprosy contacts and no known leprosy contacts in endemic areas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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