Seroprevalence of ML Flow test in leprosy contacts from State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Leprosy is a public health problem in Brazil. Epidemiological control actions are based on the diagnosis and treatment of leprosy patients and household contact surveillance. Serological tests for leprosy could identify from among the contacts those at greater risk of developing leprosy in the future. ML Flow was administered to 2,840 household contacts of new leprosy cases diagnosed from October 2002 to March 2004, in State of Minas Gerais. ML Flow was positive in 20.5% of leprosy contacts, with high seropositivity among males (22.4%), individuals aged over 15 years-old (21.7%) and individuals in contact with multibacillary cases (23.9%). The chances of a household contact presenting a seropositive test was related to household contact with a multibacillary index case (OR=1.75), age over 15 years-old (OR=1.38) and male gender (OR=1.25). Follow-up of these contacts is necessary to evaluate the real role of seropositivity in the development of leprosy disease.