Serological monitoring of the response to chemotherapy in leprosy patients.Int J Lepr Other Mycobact Dis. 1993 Mar; 61(1):35-43.IJ
Sixty-five patients initially seropositive for IgM anti-phenolic glycolipid-I (PGL-I) antibodies were tested for antibody levels to PGL-I, lipoarabinomannan (LAM), and the 35-kDa protein of Mycobacterium leprae at regular intervals for up to 30 months following the commencement of multidrug therapy (MDT). There was a steady decline in IgM anti-PGL-I and anti-35-kDa antibody levels to a mean of 17% and 14%, respectively, of the starting level at 24 months. The development of type 1 and type 2 reactions or the presence of drug-resistant organisms in a small number of patients had no significant influence on the changes in antibody level. The rate of decline was similar in different disease categories, but a higher proportion of lepromatous patients remained seropositive at the end of 2 years of treatment than borderline tuberculoid patients. By contrast, the mean IgG anti-LAM antibody levels remained stable or increased. Again the occurrence of type 1 or type 2 reactions had no significant effect on antibody level over 2 years. Falls in the IgM anti-PGL-I antibody levels mirrored the falls in the bacterial index in individual patients and provide an additional parameter for monitoring the response to chemotherapy.