UNAIR scientists conduct research on subclinical leprosy

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – “This research detects subclinical leprosy by examining capillary blood sample of fingertip on filter paper because it gives good results, relatively inexpensive with a simpler method than cubital venous blood samples.” It is the excerpt from a research conducted by Medhi Denisa Alinda dr. .Sp.KK.

In her opening statement, she said that leprosy is a chronic and infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. Data in Dr. Soetomo, she explained, showed 713 (6.49%) of new leprosy patients out of a total 10,970 leprosy patients in outpatient clinic in 2011-2015. The failure of leprosy elimination, she said, was caused by the failure of cutting the chain of transmission. Ig M anti PGL-1 antibodies indirectly indicated the presence of M. lepraein individuals, which can indicate subclinical and leprosy.

“Serological tests are often taken from cubital venous blood serum samples. However there is more practical method of drawing blood using filter paper, ” she said.

Furthermore, she also explained that from the results of 17 ELISA tests the average level of Ig M anti-PGL-1 from capillary blood samples on filter paper was 163.31 ± 126.16, while the mean level of Ig M anti-PGL-1, she continued, from the serum sample of venous cubital was 473.16 ± 411.26.

“There was a significant difference between capillary samples and cubital veins (p = 0.006). The levels of anti-PGL-1 IgM in capillary blood samples on filter paper are lower than cubital venous blood samples,” she said.

In the end, she also emphasized that the critical determining elimination was the severance of leprosy transmission chain as subclinical leprosy has the potential to become a source of transmission.

“This research showed that people in contact with leprosy patients, Ig M anti-PGL-1 on filter paper is significantly lower than the amount of Ig M anti-PGL-1. The use of filter paper from fingertip capillaries to replace venous blood shows a strong correlation with a correlation coefficient of 0.941,” she concluded.

Author: Nuri Hermawan

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia

Details of research available at:


Anisha Calista Prakoeswa, Bayu Bijaksana Rumondor, Meva Nareza Trianita, Iswahyudi, Fatma Rosida, Linda Astari, M. Yulianto Listiawan, Indropo Agusni, Shinzo Izumi, Medhi Denisa Alinda (2019). The Correlation of Ig M Anti PGL-1 Antibody between Blood Veins and Dryed Capillary Blood on Filter Papers in House-Hold Contact of Leprosy Patient. Dermatology Reports, 11(s1):8057; https://doi.org/10.4081/dr.2019.8057

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