American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease
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American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2014, 2(3), 66-73
DOI: 10.12691/ajeid-2-3-1
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Epidemiological Surveillance of Leprosy in Cameroon Using the ELISA Test with D-BSA and Tris-HCl as Buffer

Dickson Shey Nsagha1, 2, , Elijah Afolabi Bamgboye2, Lekan Salimonu3, Jules Clement Nguedia Assob4, Earnest Njih Tabah5, Anne-Cécile Bissek6, Anna Longdoh Njunda7, Henri-Lucien Kamga7, Marcelin Ngowe Ngowe8 and Alfred Kongnyu Njamnshi6

1Department of Public Health and Hygiene, Medicine Programme, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon

2Department of Epidemiology, Medical Statistics and Environmental Health (Formerly Department of Preventive and Social Medicine), Faculty of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

3Department of Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

4Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon

5National Programme for Leprosy, Buruli Ulcer, Leshimanisis & Yaws Control, Ministry of Public Health, Yaounde, Cameroon

6Department of Internal Medicine & Specialties (Dermatology and Neurology), Faculty of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, Yaounde, Cameroon

7Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon

8Department of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon

Pub. Date: May 04, 2014

Cite this paper:
Dickson Shey Nsagha, Elijah Afolabi Bamgboye, Lekan Salimonu, Jules Clement Nguedia Assob, Earnest Njih Tabah, Anne-Cécile Bissek, Anna Longdoh Njunda, Henri-Lucien Kamga, Marcelin Ngowe Ngowe and Alfred Kongnyu Njamnshi. Epidemiological Surveillance of Leprosy in Cameroon Using the ELISA Test with D-BSA and Tris-HCl as Buffer. American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2014; 2(3):66-73. doi: 10.12691/ajeid-2-3-1


Background: Early detection of leprosy is important for elimination, but most cases are diagnosed only when lesions occur and nerves and skin are damaged. The determination of the risk of contacts to develop leprosy is still unpredictable, and elimination is not possible as long as contacts can still develop the disease. Methods: A modified PGL-I ELISA using tris-HCl as buffer and D-BSA as antigen evaluated IgM leprosy antibodies for the detection of subclinical leprosy infection and monitor effective chemotherapy. This case-control study took place in a leprosy endemic area among lepers diagnosed clinically and bacteriologically, intra-familial and extra-familial contacts and controls consisting of patients attending a health facility for reasons other than leprosy. Results: The highest mean absorbance of positive sera was from leprosy patients (0.14 ± 0.06), contacts (0.12 ± 0.05) and controls (0.04±0.04). The proportion of sero-positive subjects for IgM anti-bodies to M. leprae was 43.5 % (95% CI: 37.6% - 49.4%). Twenty-three (44.2%) discharged cases since 1985 were still sero-positive for leprosy IgM anti-bodies; 15 years after treatment. We found a risk factor of 6 among contacts and controls suggesting a high level of transmission. Boyo division had a higher seropositivity (51.5%) compared to Mezam division (30%). Positive cases were clustered among students (44.8%), farmers (42.5%), the self-employed (44.7%), those with paid employment (37.5%) and the unemployed (60.0%) (P=0.01). Conclusion: The PGL-I ELISA with D-BSA and tris-HCl as buffer is a useful epidemiological surveillance tool for the detection of sub-clinical leprosy infection and chemotherapy monitoring. The discharged patients who tested positive should be re-evaluated for relapses.

leprosy PGL-I ELISA D-BSA tris - HCl surveillance epidemiology Cameroon

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