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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

Print version ISSN 1816-8949


MAIZ, Gloria Elizabeth et al. Epidemiological and clinical characterization of paraguayan patients with leprosy and household contacts before and after treatment with multi-drug therapy. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2022, vol.55, n.1, pp.49-62. ISSN 1816-8949.

Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that has a long incubation period and can lead to disabilities. Diagnosis is based on clinical manifestations, so detection of advanced-stage disease is very common. The main risk group are healthy contacts of infected people without treatment, who need constant monitoring for early detection of the disease. There is and effective multi-drug therapy to treat the disease, but nerve damage is irreversible. In the present study, an epidemiological and clinical characterization of Paraguayan patients with multibacillary (MB) and paucibacillary (PB) leprosy and their household contacts (HCMB and HCPB) was carried out before and after treatment of the index case (T0 and T1, respectively). who resorted to the PNCL between 2018 and 2020. For that, blood and serum samples from 24 patients with leprosy and 17 household contacts were analyzed at the time of diagnosis of the index case and at the end of treatment, using standard laboratory tools for routine analysis. Through the use of clinical records, interviews were conducted to obtain epidemiological data. Patients were mostly male and contacts female, mostly from the countryside departments and the Central department, living in overcrowded conditions. There was a higher recruitment of MB and HCMB individuals. We observed no significant changes in the white blood cell levels amongst patients compared to healthy individuals but whereas contacts showed altered levels. The GOT liver enzyme level and BI level decreased after treatment of patients. Paraguayan patients with leprosy reflect demographic, clinical and epidemiological characteristics that are usually described for patients with this pathology. The analysis of biochemical parameters can help monitoring patients and household contacts for adequate surveillance of pathogen transmission.

Keywords : Hansen disease; epidemiology; clinical laboratory techniques; aspartate aminotransferases; bilirubin..

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