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Am J Public Health. 1997 Dec;87(12):1923-7.

Leprosy and tuberculosis: the epidemiological consequences of cross-immunity.

Author information

1
University of California, San Francisco, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study tested the hypothesis, first proposed by Chaussinand, that individual-level immunity acquired from exposure to tuberculosis may have contributed to the disappearance of leprosy from western Europe.

METHODS:

The epidemiological consequences of cross-immunity were assessed by the formulation of a mathematical model of the transmission dynamics of tuberculosis and leprosy.

RESULTS:

The conditions under which Mycobacterium tuberculosis could have eradicated Mycobacterium leprae were derived in terms of the basic reproductive rates of the two infections and the degree of cross-immunity.

CONCLUSIONS:

If the degree of cross-immunity between two diseases within an individual is known, then the epidemiological consequences of this cross-immunity can be assessed with transmission modeling. The results of this analysis, in combination with previous estimates of the basic reproductive rate of tuberculosis and degree of cross-immunity, imply that tuberculosis could have contributed to the decline of leprosy if the basic reproductive rate of leprosy was low.

PMID:
9431277
PMCID:
PMC1381230
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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