Advances in leprosy immunology and the field application: a gap to bridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Vania Nieto Brito De Souza
  • Anand M. Iyer
  • Tony Lammas
  • Ben Naafs
  • Pranab Kumar Das

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Lauro Souza Lima Institute, Bauru, Brazil
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Foundation of Dermatology, Munnekeburen, The Netherlands


Advances concerning the hosts’ immune response to Mycobacterium leprae infection have focused on elucidating the immune pathomechanisms involved, with the hope that predictive diagnostic and prognostic parameters (biomarkers) for field use would emerge; however, improvements in our understanding of the immunologic responses to this complex disease have, to date, somewhat failed to provide the effective and robust methods for improving its predictive diagnosis in the field situation, particularly in those patients suffering from paucibacillary disease. In this contribution we have attempted to review some of the advances both in the immunology and immunopathology of leprosy, and also highlight the limited clusters of immune parameters that are now available. Most importantly, we point out the limitations that still prevail in the provision of effective biomarkers in the field situation for either: (1) the diagnosis of indeterminate disease, (2) predictive diagnosis of individuals developing reactional states, (3) monitoring efficacy of treatment, or (4) monitoring treatment of reactional states.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-95
JournalClinics in Dermatology
Issue number1
Early online date6 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016