The genetic epidemiology of leprosy in a Brazilian population

Am J Hum Genet. 1995 May;56(5):1179-85.


Data on leprosy patients have been obtained from the Dispensary of Leprosy of Campinas, São Paulo, where records on practically all cases of leprosy in the Campinas area during the period 1960-70 are filed. The whole sample comprises 10,886 individuals, distributed among 1,568 families. Complex segregation analysis was utilized to determine the nature of the genetic factors that may operate on leprosy and its subtypes. The results suggest the presence of a recessive major gene controlling susceptibility to leprosy per se, with frequency of approximately .05, although there are deviations from the expected Mendelian segregation proportions. Possible etiologic heterogeneity was examined by considering two subtypes separately: for lepromatous leprosy and tuberculoid leprosy there are suggestions for a segregating major effect; however, Mendelian transmission could not be demonstrated in either case. Therefore, there is no evidence to suggest unique genetic determinants for leprosy subtypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leprosy / classification
  • Leprosy / epidemiology*
  • Leprosy / genetics*
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Phenotype
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors