Volume 101, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Leprosy reactions are immune-mediated complications occurring in up to 50% of patients. The immune consequences of helminth infections and micronutrient deficiencies suggest a potential role in type 1 reactions (T1R) or type 2 reactions (T2R). We conducted a case–control study in Minas Gerais, Brazil, to evaluate whether comorbidities and other factors are associated with reactions in patients with multibacillary leprosy. Stool and serum were tested for helminth infections. Deficiencies of vitamin A, D, and iron were measured using serum retinol, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and ferritin, respectively. Logistic regression models identified associations between reactions and helminth infections, micronutrient deficiencies, and other variables. Seventy-three patients were enrolled, 24 (33%) with T1R, 21 (29%) with T2R, 8 (15%) with mixed T1R/T2R, and 20 (27%) without reactions. Evidence of helminth infections were found in 11 participants (15%) and included IgG4 reactivity against , , and antigens. Thirty-eight (52%) had vitamin D deficiency, eight (11%) had vitamin A insufficiency, 21 (29%) had anemia, and one (1.4%) had iron deficiency. Multivariable logistic regression showed no statistically significant associations between helminth coinfections and total reactions (adjusted odds ratios [aOR]: 1.36, 95% CI: 0.22, 8.33), T1R (aOR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.17, 4.17), or T2R (aOR: 2.41, 95% CI: 0.29, 20.0). Vitamin D deficiency and vitamin A insufficiency were also not statistically associated with reactions. However, vitamin deficiencies and helminth infections were prevalent in these patients, suggesting a potential role for additional treatment interventions. Studying reactions prospectively may further clarify the role of comorbidities in the clinical presentation of leprosy.


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  • Received : 12 Jun 2018
  • Accepted : 06 Jun 2019
  • Published online : 23 Sep 2019
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