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Social contact patterns and leprosy disease: a case-control study in Bangladesh.

Abstract

Socioeconomic and culturally defined social contact patterns are expected to be an important determinant in the continuing transmission of Mycobacterium leprae in leprosy-endemic areas. In a case-control study in two districts in Bangladesh, we assessed the association between social contact patterns and the risk of acquiring clinical leprosy. Social contacts of 90 recently diagnosed patients were compared to those of 199 controls. Leprosy was associated with a more intensive social contact pattern in the home [odds ratio (OR) 1·09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·00-1·19, P = 0·043] and in the nearby neighbourhood (OR 1·07, 95% CI 1·03-1·11, P = 0·001). Although it is known that M. leprae spreads most easily within households of infected persons, in endemic areas social contacts within the neighbourhood, village or urban ward, also appear to be important for transmission. We advise that disease control measures in leprosy-endemic areas should not be limited to households, but include high-risk groups in the nearby neighbourhood of patients.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Feenstra S G
Nahar Q
Pahan D
Oskam L
Richardus J H
Year of Publication
2013
Journal
Epidemiology and infection
Volume
141
Issue
3
Number of Pages
573-81
Date Published
2013 Mar
Language
eng
ISSN Number
1469-4409
Call Number
FEENSTRA 2012
DOI
10.1017/S0950268812000969
Alternate Journal
Epidemiol. Infect.
Publication Language
eng