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2.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 16(6): e0010476, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957097

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Leprosy reactions, Type-1 and erythema nodosum leprosum, are immune-mediated complications of leprosy, which play a significant role in the morbidity associated with the disease. A considerable amount of literature has been published on the impact of leprosy in general but few studies focus specifically on leprosy reactions. This study aimed to investigate the impact of leprosy reactions on physical, psychological, and social aspects of the lives of people affected by analysing their life experiences and perspectives about leprosy reactions. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This qualitative study involved people affected by leprosy reactions and their family members in two leprosy endemic countries. The data were collected through 66 interviews and 9 focus group discussions (4-6 participants each) in Surabaya, Indonesia, and Purulia, India. Content analysis and conversational analysis were performed. This study found that both types of leprosy reactions were perceived as an unpredictable and painful condition. Leprosy reactions restricted physical activities of the participants, such as going to bathroom, sleeping, eating, and cooking. In the interviews, the respondents expressed a range of emotions and feelings including confusion, sadness, anxiety, and anger. Some recounted that they felt stigmatized and lost opportunities to socialise and earn money. Differences between the two settings were identified. The majority of Indonesian participants preferred to stay at home, and some concealed the diagnosis of leprosy, while most of the Indian respondents continued working up to the time of hospitalization. CONCLUSION: Leprosy reactions are a distressing complication of leprosy and adversely affect the lives of those affected. Individuals reported physical discomfort, distress, anxiety, stigma, and financial hardship and these negative impacts in the physical, psychological, and social spheres reinforced each other. These findings provide important information about a need for early detection and sustained commitment to follow-up care for people with a history of leprosy reactions. More research on new drugs for reactional episodes, tools to measure knowledge, attitude, and practice, and costing study on leprosy reactions treatment are needed. We recommend the development and testing of holistic strategies to improve the management of leprosy reactions.


Subject(s)
Erythema Nodosum , Leprosy , Erythema Nodosum/epidemiology , Family/psychology , Humans , Leprosy/epidemiology , Qualitative Research , Social Stigma
3.
Int J Dermatol ; 61(12): 1506-1510, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1916154

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The implications of COVID-19 co-infection in patients under treatment for Hansen's disease (HD, leprosy) remain uncertain. We aimed to describe clinical characteristics, treatments, and outcomes in patients with HD and COVID-19 in Brazil. METHODS: Cross-sectional study recruiting adult HD patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 from five HD treatment centers in Brazil between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. At the time of this study, no patient had received COVID-19 vaccine. RESULTS: Of 1377 patients under treatment for HD, 70 (5.1%) were diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 41 (58.6%) had PCR-confirmed COVID-19, comprising 19 men and 22 women, aged 24-67 (median 45) years. HD was multibacillary in 39/41 patients. Eight patients ceased WHO Multi-Drug Therapy for HD, three for lack of drugs, two because of COVID-19, and three for other reasons. Of the 33 who continued treatment, 26 were on the standard regimen and seven an alternative regimen. Seventeen patients were receiving oral prednisone, including nine patients with type 1 reaction, four with type 2 reaction, three with neuritis, and one with rheumatologic disease. Twelve patients were hospitalized for COVID-19, and six patients died, of whom three had hypertension and one also had type 2 diabetes and obesity. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 and Hansen's disease co-infection did not appear to change the clinical picture of either disease in this cross-sectional study. The wider impact of the pandemic on persons affected by HD requires follow-up and monitoring.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Leprosy , Adult , Male , Humans , Female , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coinfection/epidemiology , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Leprosy/complications , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/drug therapy
6.
7.
Int J Infect Dis ; 118: 44-51, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1838840

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to characterize the profile of patients diagnosed with leprosy relapse and understand the influence of different multidrug therapy (MDT) treatments and initial disease presentation. METHODS: This retrospective study included patients diagnosed with leprosy relapse at a referral center in Brazil from 2013 to 2018. We analyzed their clinico-epidemiologic characteristics, laboratory data, and bacilloscopic tests. Survival analysis was used to determine the time elapsed until relapse according to the previous treatment and clinical forms of the disease. RESULTS: A total of 126 cases of relapse were analyzed, which comprised 11.89% (126/1059) of the cases. The median time elapsed until a relapse was 10 years, and most patients had previously undergone 12 doses of MDT (40.48%; 51/126). Undergoing 24 doses of MDT was associated with a better prognosis regarding relapse over time compared with 6 or 12 doses of MDT therapy. Most cases of relapse were classified as multibacillary (96.03%; 121/126). CONCLUSION: The incidence of relapse was greater than observed in other studies. The high percentage of multibacillary patients who had negative bacillary indices demonstrated that the bacillary index cannot be considered to be an essential criterion for relapse, especially concerning making an early diagnosis.


Subject(s)
Leprostatic Agents , Leprosy , Brazil/epidemiology , Chronic Disease , Drug Therapy, Combination , Humans , Leprostatic Agents/therapeutic use , Leprosy/drug therapy , Recurrence , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies
8.
Lancet ; 399(10335): 1588-1599, 2022 04 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805372
9.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 815738, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742205

ABSTRACT

Inflammatory disorders are associated with the activation of tryptophan (TRYP) catabolism via the kynurenine pathway (KP). Several reports have demonstrated the role of KP in the immunopathophysiology of both leprosy and coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). The nervous system can be affected in infections caused by both Mycobacterium leprae and SARS-CoV-2, but the mechanisms involved in the peripheral neural damage induced by these infectious agents are not fully understood. In recent years KP has received greater attention due the importance of kynurenine metabolites in infectious diseases, immune dysfunction and nervous system disorders. In this review, we discuss how modulation of the KP may aid in controlling the damage to peripheral nerves and the effects of KP activation on neural damage during leprosy or COVID-19 individually and we speculate its role during co-infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leprosy , Peripheral Nervous System Diseases , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Kynurenine/metabolism , Leprosy/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Tryptophan/metabolism
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613755

ABSTRACT

This work aimed to apply the ARIMA model to predict the under-reporting of new Hansen's disease cases during the COVID-19 pandemic in Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil. This is an ecological time series study of Hansen's disease indicators in the city of Palmas between 2001 and 2020 using the autoregressive integrated moving averages method. Data from the Notifiable Injuries Information System and population estimates from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics were collected. A total of 7035 new reported cases of Hansen's disease were analyzed. The ARIMA model (4,0,3) presented the lowest values for the two tested information criteria and was the one that best fit the data, as AIC = 431.30 and BIC = 462.28, using a statistical significance level of 0.05 and showing the differences between the predicted values and those recorded in the notifications, indicating a large number of under-reporting of Hansen's disease new cases during the period from April to December 2020. The ARIMA model reported that 177% of new cases of Hansen's disease were not reported in Palmas during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This study shows the need for the municipal control program to undertake immediate actions in terms of actively searching for cases and reducing their hidden prevalence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leprosy , Brazil/epidemiology , Humans , Leprosy/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Br J Radiol ; 95(1129): 20210290, 2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603309

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Early detection of peripheral neuropathy is extremely important as leprosy is one of the treatable causes of peripheral neuropathy. The study was undertaken to assess the role of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in ulnar neuropathy in leprosy patients. METHODS: This was a case-control study including 38 patients (72 nerves) and 5 controls (10 nerves) done between January 2017 and June 2019. Skin biopsy proven cases of leprosy, having symptoms of ulnar neuropathy (proven on nerve conduction study) were included. MRI was performed on a 3 T MR system. Mean cross-sectional area, fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of ulnar nerve at cubital tunnel were calculated. Additional ancillary findings and appearance of base sequences were evaluated. RESULTS: Ulnar nerve showed thickening with altered T2W signal in all the affected nerves, having an average cross-sectional area of 0.26 cm2. Low FA with mean of 0.397 ± 0.19 and high ADC with mean of 1.28 ± 0.427 x 10 -3 mm2/s of ulnar nerve in retrocondylar groove was obtained. In the control group, mean cross-sectional area was 0.71cm2 with mean FA and ADC of 0.53 ± 0.088 and 1.03 ± 0.24 x 10 -3 mm2/s respectively. Statistically no significant difference was seen in diseased and control group. Cut-off to detect neuropathy for FA and ADC is 0.4835 and 1.1020 × 10 -3 mm2/s respectively. CONCLUSION: DTI though is challenging in peripheral nerves, however, is proving to be a powerful complementary tool for assessment of peripheral neuropathy. Our study validates its utility in infective neuropathies. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: 1. DTI is a potential complementary tool for detection of peripheral neuropathies and can be incorporated in standard MR neurography protocol.2. In leprosy-related ulnar neuropathy, altered signal intensity with thickening or abscess of the nerve is appreciated along with locoregional nodes and secondary denervation changes along with reduction of FA and rise in ADC value.3. Best cut-offs obtained in our study for FA and ADC are 0.4835 and 1.1020 × 10 -3 mm2/s respectively.


Subject(s)
Diffusion Tensor Imaging , Leprosy/complications , Peripheral Nervous System Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Ulnar Nerve/diagnostic imaging , Adult , Case-Control Studies , Early Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Neuroimaging , Peripheral Nervous System Diseases/etiology
13.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 21(11): 1590-1597, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561435

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Trials of BCG vaccination to prevent or reduce severity of COVID-19 are taking place in adults, some of whom have been previously vaccinated, but evidence of the beneficial, non-specific effects of BCG come largely from data on mortality in infants and young children, and from in-vitro and animal studies, after a first BCG vaccination. We assess all-cause mortality following a large BCG revaccination trial in Malawi. METHODS: The Karonga Prevention trial was a population-based, double-blind, randomised controlled in Karonga District, northern Malawi, that enrolled participants between January, 1986, and November, 1989. The trial compared BCG (Glaxo-strain) revaccination versus placebo to prevent tuberculosis and leprosy. 46 889 individuals aged 3 months to 75 years were randomly assigned to receive BCG revaccination (n=23 528) or placebo (n=23 361). Here we report mortality since vaccination as recorded during active follow-up in northern areas of the district in 1991-94, and in a demographic surveillance follow-up in the southern area in 2002-18. 7389 individuals who received BCG (n=3746) or placebo (n=3643) lived in the northern follow-up areas, and 5616 individuals who received BCG (n=2798) or placebo (n=2818) lived in the southern area. Year of death or leaving the area were recorded for those not found. We used survival analysis to estimate all-cause mortality. FINDINGS: Follow-up information was available for 3709 (99·0%) BCG recipients and 3612 (99·1%) placebo recipients in the northern areas, and 2449 (87·5%) BCG recipients and 2413 (85·6%) placebo recipients in the southern area. There was no difference in mortality between the BCG and placebo groups in either area, overall or by age group or sex. In the northern area, there were 129 deaths per 19 694 person-years at risk in the BCG group (6·6 deaths per 1000 person-years at risk [95% CI 5·5-7·8]) versus 133 deaths per 19 111 person-years at risk in the placebo group (7·0 deaths per 1000 person-years at risk [95% CI 5·9-8·2]; HR 0·94 [95% CI 0·74-1·20]; p=0·62). In the southern area, there were 241 deaths per 38 399 person-years at risk in the BCG group (6·3 deaths per 1000 person-years at risk [95% CI 5·5-7·1]) versus 230 deaths per 38 676 person-years at risk in the placebo group (5·9 deaths per 1000 person-years at risk [95% CI 5·2-6·8]; HR 1·06 [95% CI 0·88-1·27]; p=0·54). INTERPRETATION: We found little evidence of any beneficial effect of BCG revaccination on all-cause mortality. The high proportion of deaths attributable to non-infectious causes beyond infancy, and the long time interval since BCG for most deaths, might obscure any benefits. FUNDING: British Leprosy Relief Association (LEPRA); Wellcome Trust.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine/administration & dosage , Immunization, Secondary/statistics & numerical data , Mortality , Vaccination/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , BCG Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Double-Blind Method , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Leprosy/immunology , Leprosy/mortality , Leprosy/prevention & control , Malawi/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Mycobacterium leprae/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Tuberculosis/immunology , Tuberculosis/mortality , Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
14.
Int J Dermatol ; 61(6): 733-738, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537821

ABSTRACT

Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, is an age-old chronic granulomatous infection characterized by prominent cutaneous and neurologic findings. Long known to be caused by Mycobacterium leprae, a new etiologic species was identified and linked in 2008, Mycobacterium lepromatosis. The BCG vaccine with highly variable efficacy may soon be replaced by the first leprosy-specific subunit vaccine LepVax, which has recently moved forward in human trials. Recent evidence supporting theories of zoonotic transmission from armadillos and the less-discussed Eurasian red squirrels has emerged. Knowledge on genetic polymorphisms that may increase leprosy susceptibility, such as the newly uncovered mitochondrial ribosomal protein S5 (MRPS5) polymorphism in the Chinese population, has provided a fresh perspective and direction. Further, we will delineate the latest information on leprosy, including the possible effects of leprosy coinfection with COVID-19, HIV, and HTLV-1, and the shift to newer leprosy therapies and treatment regimens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leprosy , Animals , Armadillos/microbiology , Humans , Leprosy/epidemiology , Leprosy/microbiology , Mycobacterium leprae/genetics
15.
BMJ Open ; 11(8): e046125, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376488

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Leprosy, or Hansen's disease, remains a cause of preventable disability. Early detection, treatment and prevention are key to reducing transmission. Post-exposure prophylaxis with single-dose rifampicin (SDR-PEP) reduces the risk of developing leprosy when administered to screened contacts of patients. This has been adopted in the WHO leprosy guidelines. The PEP4LEP study aims to determine the most effective and feasible method of screening people at risk of developing leprosy and administering chemoprophylaxis to contribute to interrupting transmission. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: PEP4LEP is a cluster-randomised implementation trial comparing two interventions of integrated skin screening combined with SDR-PEP distribution to contacts of patients with leprosy in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania. One intervention is community-based, using skin camps to screen approximately 100 community contacts per leprosy patient, and to administer SDR-PEP when eligible. The other intervention is health centre-based, inviting household contacts of leprosy patients to be screened in a local health centre and subsequently receive SDR-PEP when eligible. The mobile health (mHealth) tool SkinApp will support health workers' capacity in integrated skin screening. The effectiveness of both interventions will be compared by assessing the rate of patients with leprosy detected and case detection delay in months, as well as feasibility in terms of cost-effectiveness and acceptability. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the national ethical committees of Ethiopia (MoSHE), Mozambique (CNBS) and Tanzania (NIMR/MoHCDEC). Study results will be published open access in peer-reviewed journals, providing evidence for the implementation of innovative leprosy screening methods and chemoprophylaxis to policymakers. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NL7294 (NTR7503).


Subject(s)
Leprosy , Ethiopia , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/drug therapy , Leprosy/prevention & control , Mozambique , Tanzania
16.
Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop ; 54: e02512021, 2021. tab, graf
Article in English | WHO COVID, LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-1329152

ABSTRACT

Abstract INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has limited the access of patients with Hansen's disease (HD) to care due to changes in routine health services. METHODS: To ascertain this, we compared the number of HD cases diagnosed before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: The decrease in HD cases in Brazil reached 18,223 (-48.4%), corresponding to an average reduction of 1,518 cases per month during the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION: Therefore, effective measures should be implemented to minimize the damage and the consequent negative health impact of COVID-19 on the care of HD patients.


Subject(s)
Humans , COVID-19 , Leprosy/epidemiology , Brazil/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
17.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(7): e0009635, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329131

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Protective effects of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and clofazimine and dapsone treatment against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have been reported. Patients at risk for leprosy represent an interesting model for assessing the effects of these therapies on the occurrence and severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We assessed the influence of leprosy-related variables in the occurrence and severity of COVID-19. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed a 14-month prospective real-world cohort study in which the main risk factor was 2 previous vaccinations with BCG and the main outcome was COVID-19 detection by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A Cox proportional hazards model was used. Among the 406 included patients, 113 were diagnosed with leprosy. During follow-up, 69 (16.99%) patients contracted COVID-19. Survival analysis showed that leprosy was associated with COVID-19 (p<0.001), but multivariate analysis showed that only COVID-19-positive household contacts (hazard ratio (HR) = 8.04; 95% CI = 4.93-13.11) and diabetes mellitus (HR = 2.06; 95% CI = 1.04-4.06) were significant risk factors for COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Leprosy patients are vulnerable to COVID-19 because they have more frequent contact with SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, possibly due to social and economic limitations. Our model showed that the use of corticosteroids, thalidomide, pentoxifylline, clofazimine, or dapsone or BCG vaccination did not affect the occurrence or severity of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Leprosy/drug therapy , Leprosy/epidemiology , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , BCG Vaccine/administration & dosage , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19 Testing , Clofazimine/therapeutic use , Cohort Studies , Dapsone/therapeutic use , Humans , Pentoxifylline/therapeutic use , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Survival Analysis , Thalidomide/therapeutic use
18.
Clin Dermatol ; 39(1): 133-138, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300682

ABSTRACT

Wanda Blenska (1911-2014), a Polish physician, established a leprosy treatment center in the village of Buluba in Uganda in 1951, which lasted until 1993. Through her efforts, the village for lepers in Buluba, established in 1934, which had previously been a place of isolation conducted by the Little Sisters of St. Francis in Uganda, became such an important leprosy treatment and research center that eventually the facility was able to cooperate with similar centers in India and South Africa. It then became affiliated with research institutes in London and Amsterdam; the Borstel Research Institute near Hamburg, Germany; and the World Health Organization. Blenska developed a working relationship with the government of Uganda and contributed to changes in the government provision of health care for lepers by creating a network of leprosy treatment stations throughout the country. Through her efforts, public health education and leprosy prophylaxis became available for thousands of people, effectively changing the national attitude toward this disease. In 1994, one of the buildings of the St. Francis hospital complex in Buluba was named in her honor (The Wanda Blenska Training Centre).


Subject(s)
Leprosy , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Government , Humans , India , Leprosy/drug therapy , Leprosy/epidemiology , Leprosy/prevention & control , Uganda/epidemiology
19.
20.
Int J Dermatol ; 60(8): 1003-1006, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280318

ABSTRACT

This study analyzed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the detection of new cases of leprosy in the state of Bahia, Brazil. The periods January-September 2019 and January-September 2020 were compared. There was a 44.40% reduction in the diagnosis of leprosy when comparing the two periods (1,705 in 2019 and 948 in 2020). There was a reduction in the number of municipalities with reported cases: 251 municipalities in 2019 and 202 in 2020, expressing a reduction of 24.25%. Considering only the months following the arrival of the virus (April-September), the reduction was 51.10%. An inverse correlation was observed between the number of new cases of leprosy and the cumulative number of cases of COVID-19 (Spearman's correlation coefficient = -0.840; P < 0.001) and the number of new monthly cases of COVID-19 (Spearman's correlation coefficient = -0.817; P < 0.001). A slight increase was also observed in the proportion of multibacillary cases in the state (70.38% in 2019 and 72.69% in 2020) as well as in the proportion of individuals with the degree of physical disability not assessed at diagnosis, whose proportion rose from 16.39% in 2019 to 22.53% in 2020. The negative impact of COVID-19 in tackling leprosy should be seen as a warning sign for health and political authorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leprosy , Brazil/epidemiology , Endemic Diseases , Humans , Leprosy/diagnosis , Leprosy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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