Serologic follow-up of IgG responses against recombinant mycobacterial proteins ML0405, ML2331 and LID-1 in a leprosy hyperendemic area in Venezuela.
Leprosy is a slowly evolving disease that occurs mainly in adults. In this study, the Mamaría Village, state of Portuguesa was selected because it had one of the highest prevalence rates (13.25%) of leprosy cases in 1997. Between 1998-2004, 20.2% of the 89 cases registered in this village were less than 15 years old and 61.8% were males. Paucibacillary (PB) lesions were the predominant clinical forms identified, although also multibacillary (MB) forms were found. Additionally, 76% of the patients were bacteriologically negative. At the time of diagnosis, 75% of the patients presented with grade 0 disabilities, 23% with grade 1 and 2% with grade 2. Serum samples were collected from 18 PB and 15 MB patients, in addition to 14 family contacts, at the beginning and end of treatment. All the groups were re-evaluated during a three-year period (2008-2011). The proteins used for evaluation were ML0405, ML2331 and LID-1. These mycobacterial proteins were highly specific for Mycobacterium leprae and the IgG responses decreased in both MB and PB patients during multidrug treatment. Our results suggest that these antigens could be used as markers for successful treatment of non-reactional lepromatous patients.