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Serum Levels of Interleukin-1β and Interferon-γ in Hansen’s disease

Author(s): Amul K Butti, Shakti Kumar Yadav, Alekh Verma, V K Khurana, Sanjay Jain, Sompal Singh and Namrata Sarin*

Background: Hansen’s disease is a chronic infectious granulomatous disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. In leprosy the final immune response depends on predominant effector pathway M. leprae bacilli are presented by antigen presenting cells to CD4+T cells with subsequent release of Interleukin -12 leading to TH1 response. Release of interferon gamma (IF-γ) promotes further TH1 response development. IF-γ along with tumor necrosis factor and IL-2 leads to recruitment of monocytes and their transformation into epithelioid cells and granuloma formation. Aims: Our aim of the study was to analyse serum levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interferon-γ in newly diagnosed untreated patients of leprosy and to co relate their levels with clinico-histopathological profile. Methods: (including settings and design and statistical analysis used). The study was an analytical cross-sectional study. Fifty newly diagnosed leprosy patients were included in the study. They are categorized into paucibacillary (30) and multibacillary (20) groups. Serum cytokines assay for IL-1β and IFN-γ were performed by ELISA and were compared between the two groups. Mean serum cytokine levels of IL-1β and IFN-γ in both paucibacillary and multibacillary groups were calculated. Significance of mean difference between IL-1β and IFN-γ was assessed using Mann Whitney U test between the two groups. Results: Significant high serum levels of IFN-γ were seen in paucibacillary group as compared to multibacillary group. Although serum levels of IL-1β were raised in multibacillary group compared to paucibacillary group. The mean difference was not statistically significant. Limitations: The limitation of present study is low sample size. Conclusions: Serum interleukin levels (IL-1β and IFN-γ) are different among the paucibacillary and multibacillary cases. The fact is useful not only to understand the disease pathogenesis but also in sub categorization of Hansen’s disease patients.


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