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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg ; 115(12): 1456-1461, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34077950


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to governments implementing a variety of public health measures to control transmission and has affected health services. Leprosy is a communicable neglected tropical disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and is an important health problem in low- and middle-income countries. The natural history of leprosy means that affected individuals need long-term follow-up. The measures recommended to reduce transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can create barriers to health services. We evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic response on leprosy services and disease management. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey with healthcare professionals in leprosy referral centres. RESULTS: Eighty percent of leprosy diagnostic services were reduced. All respondents reported that multidrug therapy (MDT) was available but two reported a reduced stock. Clinicians used alternative strategies such as telephone consultations to maintain contact with patients. However, patients were not able to travel to the referral centres. DISCUSSION: This study highlights the effects of the initial phase of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on leprosy services in a range of leprosy-endemic countries. Many services remained open, providing leprosy diagnosis, MDT and leprosy reaction medications. Centres developed innovative measures to counter the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Leprosy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Drug Therapy, Combination , Humans , Leprostatic Agents , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/drug therapy , Leprosy/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
BMJ Open ; 10(11): e037700, 2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33203627


INTRODUCTION: Erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL) is an immunological complication of leprosy. ENL results in morbidity and disability and if it is not treated can lead to death. The current treatment consists of thalidomide or high doses of oral corticosteroids for prolonged periods. Thalidomide is not available in many leprosy endemic countries. The use of corticosteroids is associated with morbidity and mortality. Identifying treatment regimens that reduce the use of corticosteroids in ENL is essential. Methotrexate (MTX) is used to treat many inflammatory diseases and has been used successfully to treat patients with ENL not controlled by other drugs, including prednisolone and thalidomide. We present the protocol of the 'MTX and prednisolone study in ENL' (MaPs in ENL) a randomised controlled trial (RCT) designed to test the efficacy of MTX in the management of ENL. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: MaPs in ENL is an international multicentre RCT, which will be conducted in leprosy referral centres in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Nepal. Patients diagnosed with ENL who consent to participate will be randomly allocated to receive 48 weeks of weekly oral MTX plus 20 weeks of prednisolone or 48 weeks of placebo plus 20 weeks of prednisolone. Participants will be stratified by type of ENL into those with acute ENL and those with chronic and recurrent ENL. The primary objective is to determine whether MTX reduces the requirement for additional prednisolone. Patients' reported outcome measures will be used to assess the efficacy of MTX. Participants will be closely monitored for adverse events. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Results will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Ethical approval was obtained from the Observational/Interventions Research Ethics Committee of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (15762); The Leprosy Mission International Bangladesh Institutional Research Board (in process); AHRI-ALERT Ethical Review Committee, Ethiopia; Ethics Committee of the Managing Committee of the Bombay Leprosy Project; and The Leprosy Mission Trust India Ethics Committee; the Nepal Health and Research Council and Health Research Ethics Committee Dr. Soetomo, Indonesia. This study is registered at This is the first RCT of MTX for ENL and will contribute to the evidence for the management of ENL.Trial registration numberNCT 03775460.

Erythema Nodosum , Leprosy, Lepromatous , Methotrexate/therapeutic use , Prednisolone/therapeutic use , Bangladesh , Brazil , Erythema Nodosum/drug therapy , Ethiopia , Humans , India , Indonesia , Leprostatic Agents/therapeutic use , Leprosy, Lepromatous/drug therapy , London , Nepal
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 11(7): e0005716, 2017 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28671966


OBJECTIVES: We wished to validate our recently devised 16-item ENLIST ENL Severity Scale, a clinical tool for measuring the severity of the serious leprosy associated complication of erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL). We also wished to assess the responsiveness of the ENLIST ENL Severity Scale in detecting clinical change in patients with ENL. METHODS: Participants, recruited from seven centres in six leprosy endemic countries, were assessed using the ENLIST ENL Severity Scale by two researchers, one of whom categorised the severity of ENL. At a subsequent visit a further assessment using the scale was made and both participant and physician rated the change in ENL using the subjective categories of "Much better", "somewhat better", "somewhat worse" and "much worse" compared with "No change" or "about the same". RESULTS: 447 participants were assessed with the ENLIST ENL Severity Scale. The Cronbach alpha of the scale and each item was calculated to determine the internal consistency of the scale. The ENLIST ENL Severity Scale had good internal consistency and this improved following removal of six items to give a Cronbach's alpha of 0.77. The cut off between mild ENL and more severe disease was 9 determined using ROC curves. The minimal important difference of the scale was determined to be 5 using both participant and physician ratings of change. CONCLUSIONS: The 10-item ENLIST ENL Severity Scale is the first valid, reliable and responsive measure of ENL severity and improves our ability to assess and compare patients and their treatments in this severe and difficult to manage complication of leprosy. The ENLIST ENL Severity Scale will assist physicians in the monitoring and treatment of patients with ENL. The ENLIST ENL Severity Scale is easy to apply and will be useful as an outcome measure in treatment studies and enable the standardisation of other clinical and laboratory ENL research.

Erythema Nodosum/pathology , Leprosy, Lepromatous/pathology , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult