Pages 170 - 176 Volume 85, Issue 3
Leprosy – An imported disease

Leprosy remains a public health concern in Malaysia and globally. We aim to review the characteristics of leprosy patients in a tertiary institution in urban Malaysia.


This is a case series of 27 leprosy patients who presented between 2008 and 2013.


The majority of our patients consisted of male (74.1%), Malaysian (63.0%), blue collar workers (51.9%) and married (59.3%) patients; 48.1% had lepromatous leprosy. All except one of the patients presented with skin lesions, 25.9% had nerve involvement and 33.3% developed lepra reactions. Forty-four point four percent (44.4%) of the cases seen initially in the primary care setup were misdiagnosed.


Doctors need to have a high index of suspicion for leprosy when patients present with suggestive skin, nerve or musculoskeletal lesions. Immigrants accounted for 37% of cases and these patients may become a reservoir of infection, thus accounting for the rise in incidence. An increasing trend in multibacillary cases may be attributed to the spread from migrants from countries with a high burden of leprosy.

Cite this article
Zhenli Kwan, Jayalakshmi Pailoor, Leng Leng Tan, Suganthy Robinson, Su-Ming Wong, Rokiah Ismail;
Leprosy – An imported disease; Leprosy Review; 2014; 85; 3; 170-176; DOI: 10.47276/lr.85.3.170
Leprosy Review
British Leprosy Relief Association
Colchester, UK