British Leprosy Relief Association
aDhaka Medical College, Dhaka 1100, Bangladesh
bPopular Medical College, Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh
Correspondence to: S.M. Shamsuzzaman, Professor, Department of Microbiology, Dhaka Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh 1100 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +880 1819289739)
Place of work: The research was carried out in the department of Microbiology of Dhaka Medical College of Bangladesh. Leprosy patients were recruited from the Leprosy Control Institute and Hospital, Mohakhali, Dhaka of Bangladesh.
Recent data regarding demography, clinical presentation and molecular diagnosis of leprosy patients are lacking in Bangladesh.
A cross sectional study on 55 leprosy cases of 16–70 years old, both sexes was done. Ziehl-Neelsen (Z-N) stain, histopathology and PCR of skin specimens were done.
40% patients were between 21–30 years, mean age 34.5 years, male to female ratio was 2.9:1. Fourteen (25%) patients were destitute, 11 (20%) were housewives. 62% patients had more than 5 skin lesions. 58% had two and 36% had single nerve involvement. Altogether 9 (16%) were smear positive for AFB, 3 (33%) were graded as 2+, 2 (22%) as 3+ and 4 (44%) as 4+. Histologically, 52 (95%) showed features of leprosy, 14 (25%) were diagnosed as tuberculoid and 5 (9%) were lepromatous leprosy. In total, 40 (73%) of 55 patients were positive by PCR. Thirty (88%) of 34 multibacillary leprosy and 10 (48%) of 21 paucibacillary leprosy patients were PCR positive. One of 3 histopathologically negative leprosy patients was PCR positive.
Multiple skin lesions and multiple nerve involvement are the predominant features. For diagnosis of multibacillary leprosy, Z-N stain and for paucibacillary leprosy, PCR are suitable methods. In smear negative cases, results of histopathology may be suggestive, and PCR can give confirmatory results.