Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 624

Patterns and trends of tribal leprosy: An overview from a tertiary care leprosy clinic of Choto Nagpur Plateau of Eastern India

1 Department of Dermatology, B. S. Medical College, Bankura, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Burdwan Medical College, Burdwan, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Somenath Sarkar
Barsul, Burdwan - 713 124, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.ijd_227_22

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Background: Leprosy is a chronic granulomatous disease mainly affecting the peripheral nerves and skin. Any communities including the tribals are susceptible to leprosy. Very few studies on clinico-epidemiological patterns of leprosy have been reported in the tribal population, especially in the Choto Nagpur plateau. Aims: To observe clinical types of newly diagnosed leprosy cases among the tribal population and demonstrate bacteriological index, frequency of deformity, and lepra reaction at presentation. Methods: An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted with consecutive newly diagnosed tribal leprosy patients attending the leprosy clinic of a tribal-based tertiary care center of Choto Nagpur plateau of eastern India, from January 2015 to December 2019. Thorough history taking and clinical examination were done. A slit skin smear for AFB was performed to demonstrate the bacteriological index. Results: There was a steady rise in total leprosy cases from 2015 to 2019. Borderline tuberculoid (BT) was the commonest form of leprosy (64.83%). Pure neuritic leprosy was not uncommon (16.26%). Multibacillary leprosy was noted in 74.72% of cases and childhood leprosy was observed in 6.70% of cases. The commonest nerve involved was the ulnar nerve. Garde II deformity was noted in around 20% of cases. AFB positivity was observed in 13.73% of cases. A high bacteriological index (BI ≥3) was noted in 10.65% of cases. Lepra reaction was observed in 25.38% of cases. Conclusion: BT leprosy, pure neuritic leprosy, childhood leprosy, grade II deformity, and higher AFB positivity were prevalent in this study. The tribal population required special attention and care for the prevention of leprosy amongst them.

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