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Molecular determination of Mycobacterium leprae viability

Grant number: 11/19307-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2011
Effective date (End): November 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal researcher:Ida Maria Foschiani Dias Baptista
Grantee:Amanda Juliane Finardi
Home Institution: Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima (ILSL). Coordenadoria de Controle de Doenças (CCD). Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). Bauru , SP, Brazil


The access to information about leprosy, its diagnosis and treatment with multidrugtherapy (MDT) are considered key elements of the strategy for its control. Result of infection by Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae), leprosy is a chronic disease affecting skin and nerves, and the impossibility of cultivating M. leprae in axenic culture medium, has hampered in vitro studies and the development of clinical trials prove to be complicated due to the slow progression of the bacillus. Thus, a sensitive and specific method for detecting the viability of M. leprae add a fair criterion to the means already available, allowing even the diagnosis in the earlier stages of disease. The present study aims to assessing the viability of bacilli through the detection of 16S rRNA specific for M. leprae with the normalization of the total quantities of mycobacteria from the quantification of total DNA of M. leprae using repetitive sequence RLEP. The initial assessment will focus on therapeutic efficacy of the scheme used for analyzing the viability of bacilli in clinical samples during periods of 0 to 12 months of MDT. In parallel, there will be a comparative analysis for detection of 16S rRNA and inoculation into the footpads of mice - the gold standard for this type approach. Moreover, it is expected that in addition to monitoring the effectiveness of treatment, new possibilities for studies on parasite-host interaction might be addressed. (AU)

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