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In the Karimui in New Guinea, all leprosy patients are being treated with the repository sulfone 4,4′-diacetyldiaminodiphenylsulfone (DADDS). We report the clinical condition and the bacteriological results of the first 750 days of treatment in 28 patients who had sufficient numbers of leprosy bacilli in their skin smears for appraisal of the solid ratio (proportion of solidly staining bacilli) during treatment. The solidly staining bacilli are thought to represent the viable bacilli. Before treatment not all patients had significantly elevated solid ratios, but, in all those that did, the solid ratios decreased to near baseline level in 150 days. No significant increases were seen at 150 days or later; some low, sporadic increases were observed, but these did not appear to represent increases in viable bacilli. The bacterial index (a measure of the number of bacilli) decreased in 750 days an average of 2.20, which corresponds to a loss of 160-fold in numbers of bacilli. Decreases in bacterial index averaged somewhat less in patients whose original bacterial index was 4.0 or greater. No significant increases in bacterial indices were observed.
Department of Public Health, Port Moresby, Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
Center for Disease Control, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.