Mycobacterium leprae in the periodontium, saliva and skin smears of leprosy patients

  • Ligia Fernandes Abdalla Universidade Federal do Amazonas
  • João Hugo Abdalla Santos Fundação de Medicina Tropical do Amazonas
  • Carolina Souza Cunha Collado Universidade Newton Lins
  • Maria da Graça Souza Cunha Fundação Alfredo da Matta
  • Felipe Gomes Naveca Fiocruz/AM
Keywords: Mycobacterium leprae, skin smears, PCR, periodontium, saliva, bacteriological examination

Abstract

Purpose: To verify the presence of M. leprae in the periodontium, saliva and skin slit smears of leprosy patients. To correlate bacteriological and molecular findings with clinical data and compare laboratory techniques. Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed to use bacteriological (baciloscopy) and molecular (PCR) parameters to detect M. leprae in exudates of the gingival sulcus/periodontium pocket, saliva and skin slit smears from multiple clinical forms of leprosy patients without previous treatment. Results: The study included 48 leprosy patients with 15 multibacillary (MB) cases and 33 paucibacillary (PB) cases. The diagnosis of MB was confirmed through bacteriological examination and PCR results from skin slit smears. A total of 16 (48.5%) PB patients were PCR positive only. Four PB patients with negative PCR skin smears were PCR positive for the periodontium and saliva, with 2 cases and 1 case, respectively. No periodontium or saliva samples had positive bacteriological results. Conclusion: There was no correlation between periodontal disease and the presence of M. leprae. Bacteriological examination did not prove to be an efficient technique for the analysis of saliva and periodontium samples. PCR analysis of skin smears was more efficient at diagnosing PB patients than bacteriological examination. PCR positive results for the detection of M. leprae in PB patients can be increased by collecting slit skin smears, periodontium and saliva samples.

Author Biographies

Ligia Fernandes Abdalla, Universidade Federal do Amazonas
Mestranda em Patologia Tropical da Universidade Federal do Amazonas
João Hugo Abdalla Santos, Fundação de Medicina Tropical do Amazonas
Médico Residente em Infectologia pela Fundação de Medicina Tropical
Carolina Souza Cunha Collado, Universidade Newton Lins
Estudante de Medicina da Universidade Newton Lins
Maria da Graça Souza Cunha, Fundação Alfredo da Matta
Médica e Doutora em Doenças Infecciosas da Fundação Alfredo da Matta (FUAM)
Felipe Gomes Naveca, Fiocruz/AM
Pesquisador em Saúde Pública do Instituto Leônidas e Maria Deane – Fiocruz/AM; Pesquisador de Desenvolvimento Científico Regional – FUAM/CNPQ/FAPEAM
Published
2010-03-17
Section
Original Article