Prevention of leprosy using rifampicin as chemoprophylaxis.


M.I. Bakker, M. Hatta, A. Kwenang, B.H.B. Benthem, S.M. van Beers, P.R. Klatser, L. Oskam

Leprosy is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. Multidrug treatment (MDT) was introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1982 and was seen as an instrument for the elimination of leprosy as a public health problem, defined as a national prevalence less than 1/10,000. However, even after 20 years of MDT, case detection rates (CDRs) are not decreasing, indicating that patients are probably not the only source of transmission; subclinically infected persons and contacts of patients have also been implicated.Therefore, it is necessary to examine interventions which include these groups of potentially infectious persons.