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A hospital based retrospective study was carried out to determine change in the profile of disease in leprosy patients taking 1995 as baseline and compared with the profile seen in year 2000. A total of 2149 and 1703 cases were studied respectively of year 1995 and 2000. Male to female ratio slightly increased from 2.95:1 in year 1995 to 3.4:1 in year 2000. Majority of patients were of borderline type in both years. Proportion of cases with MB leprosy was nearly same in females (60.8%) and males (63.1%) in year 1995 and in year 2000 (64.8% females and 67.6% males). Proportion of highly bacillary cases has decreased over the years in females (from 20.95% in 1995 to 11.7% in year 2000, p=0.03) as well as in males (from 25% in 1995 to 15.5% in year 2000, p=0.001). Incidence of total reactions increased from 27.6% to 35.4% over the years which is significant (p<0.01). Proportion of type 1 reactions were more in reproductive age group in females in both years (p<0.05) and of type 2 reactions were significantly (p > or = 0.05) more in males in both years. Incidence of disability (both grade 1 and grade 2) was significantly more in males than in females in both years (p > or = 0.04). Grade 1 disability has significantly increased over years in females from 10.11% to 14.8%(p<0.03) as well as in males from 13.27% to 21.3%(p<0.001). Onset of reactions was associated with pregnancy/lactation in 62% of cases and with menopause in 21% of cases in 2000, which suggests strong correlation with hormonal imbalance. To conclude while leprosy incidence has declined after MDT, recognition and management of reactions in women around changes in their hormonal levels should be properly monitored for early and effective management.
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This study reports detailed analysis of clinical parameters and clearance of granuloma in borderline leprosy patients treated with immunotherapy and chemotherapy. It aims to assess the additive effect of immunotherapy (Mwvaccine) with standard MDT on clinical status of untreated borderline leprosy cases and on granuloma fraction of untreated borderline leprosy cases. Patients attending the OPD were serially recruited in two groups. A total of 150 cases in one treatment (trial) group (Mw vaccine plus MDT) and 120 cases in another treatment (control) group (MDT only) of border line leprosy have been included. After the formal written consent, detailed clinical examination, charting, smear examination of all untreated borderline patients of both groups was done, biopsies were taken from the active lesions of all patients of both groups at start of therapy and every six month thereafter till the completion of therapy. The same procedure was repeated every six months during the follow-up period. Standard MDT was given to all the patients of both groups according to type of disease. Mw vaccine 0.1 ml (0.5 x 10(9) bacilli) was injected intra-dermally at the start of therapy and every six months in addition to chemotherapy to the treatment group. The BT cases were followed up after 6 doses of MDT and 2 doses of Mw vaccine, and, the BB, BL cases were followed up after 24 doses of MDT plus 5 doses of Mw vaccine. Clinically, greater and faster improvement was observed in all the clinical parameters, faster attainment of smear negativity and two episodes of lepra reaction occurred in cases treated with combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy, as compared to controls (chemotherapy alone) wherein clinical improvement was slower in all parameters, slower attainment of smear negativity in bacillary index and seven showed the occurrence of reactions, histipathologically in addition to more rapid clearance of granuloma in immunotherapy treated group, a significant finding was an increase in the epithelioid cells population in this group. This suggests a possible immunoactivation of the macrophages especially in BB/BL immunotherapy group. Overall comparison of regression induced by chemotherapy alone with that induced by combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy shows a greater reduction in clinical parameters as well as granuloma fraction in BT cases as well as in BB/BL cases. This trial shows the potential usefulness of this approach of addition of immunotherapy to standard chemotherapy in borderline leprosy cases which leads to in faster recovery from disease reduced chances of reactions and faster granuloma clearance. Such information is expected to be useful in improving the immunotherapeutic approaches for treatinggranulomatous conditions in general and in leprosy in particular.