Early detection projects
Early detection is important to reduce further transmission, but particularly because it reduces the risk of permanent impairments.
The LRI supports studies that examine approaches, methods or tools to improve early case detection. This includes health systems approaches to promote community awareness, appropriate health-seeking behaviour of patients and access to services, as well as the testing of lab-based tools for subclinical infection or disease. It may also include interventions to reduce community stigma, if this is a barrier to early detection in a given setting.
Describing metabolic profiles
Emory University School of Medicine (USA)
There are many knowledge gaps surrounding leprosy transmission, diagnostics and morbidity management.This research project will study the interaction between the host (humans) and the pathogen (Mycobacterium leprae) by looking for “metabolic signatures” using innovative methods.
Factors affecting migration, self-reporting and registration as leprosy cases in Bangladesh
The Leprosy Mission International (Bangladesh)
Leprosy affected persons may move to places depending on availability of health services, job facilities, or the hope of escaping for social stigmatization and other reasons. Such migration of leprosy affected persons may have an impact on disease transmssion.
Involving traditional healers to reduce the delay of leprosy diagnosis in Sierra Leone
National Leprosy and TB control programme (Sierra Leone)
Collaboration with traditional healers may facilitate detecting leprosy cases earlier than at present, thereby reducing the suspected delay in diagnosis, and detecting so far hidden leprosy cases in Sierra Leone.
Biomarkers for early detection
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (India)
How can some infected people resist an infection with the leprosy baceria while others develop the disease? This project aims to better understand this question.
Integrated strategy for early detection of leprosy and other skin NTDs in Cameroon
FAIRMED Foundation (Cameroon)
Though leprosy had been declared eradicated, there is evidence in Cameroon that the number of new cases is increasing. Mhealth technology may be an efficient and inexpensive way to improve case detection.
Community-based health education
The Leprosy Mission Trust (India)
In some districts in India (including districts in the states of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Chattisgarh) there are still large numbers of new leprosy cases being reported. The population in these areas is mostly rural and the socio-economic level is low. Their first health care provider is the local practitioner (non-allopathic) healer, who is usually not able to diagnose leprosy and does not prescribe Multi Drug Therapy.
Functional analysis of candidate variants in the early-onset leprosy
Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, Brazil (PUCPR)
Two variants in the LRRK2 gene were found to be strong candidates to control leprosy susceptibility in a unique family affected by leprosy. By infecting macrophages in vitro with M. leprae, this genetic susceptibility will be further studied.
Integration of rapid diagnostic tests
Infectious Disease Research Institute (USA)
Detection and management of leprosy cases currently relies heavily on examination by expert clinicians. This requirement significantly limits the scope, reach, efficiency and even feasibility of surveillance. This study evaluates if certain antibody tests could to serve as a simple, quantifiable and robust measurement to facilitate referral for expert clinical exam.