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Detection of Mycobacterium leprae DNA by polymerase chain reaction in the blood and nasal secretion of Brazilian household contacts.

Abstract

DNA samples from blood and nasal swabs of 125 healthy household contacts was submitted to amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using a Mycobacterium leprae-specific sequence as a target for the detection of subclinical infection with M. leprae. All samples were submitted to hybridization analysis in order to exclude any false positive or negative results. Two positive samples were confirmed from blood out of 119 (1.7%) and two positive samples from nasal secretion out of 120 (1.7%). The analysis of the families with positive individuals showed that 2.5% (n = 3) of the contacts were relatives of multibacilary patients while 0.8% of the cases (n = 1) had a paucibacilary as an index case. All positive contacts were followed up and after one year none of them presented clinical signs of the disease. In spite of the PCR sensitivity to detect the presence of the M. leprae in a subclinical stage, this molecular approach did not seem to be a valuable tool to screen household contacts, since we determined a spurious association of the PCR positivity and further development of leprosy.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Almeida EC
Martínez AN
Maniero VC
Sales AM
Duppre NC
Sarno EN
Santos AR
Moraes MO
Year of Publication
2004
Journal
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Volume
99
Issue
5
Number of Pages
509-11
Date Published
2004 Aug
Language
eng
ISSN Number
0074-0276
DOI
10.1590/s0074-02762004000500009
Alternate Journal
Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz
Publication Language
eng