Current knowledge on Mycobacterium leprae Transmission : a systematic literature review

Bratschi, M. W. and Steinmann, P. and Wickenden, A. and Gillis, T. P.. (2015) Current knowledge on Mycobacterium leprae Transmission : a systematic literature review. Leprosy review, 86 (2). pp. 142-155.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/39875/

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BACKGROUND: The transmission pathways of Mycobacterium leprae are not fully understood. Solid evidence exists for an increased risk for individuals living in close contact with leprosy patients but the existence of zoonotic leprosy, environmental reservoirs and trauma-related transmission has also been established.PURPOSE: To assess the current state of knowledge on M. leprae transmission, we conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature pertaining to this topic.METHOD: Major electronic bibliographic databases were searched for relevant peer-reviewed articles published up to January 2014. No restrictions on study types, participants and location were applied, and all outcomes demonstrated to contribute to the transmission of M. leprae were considered. Included studies were grouped by mode of transmission, namely (i) human-to-human via aerosols or direct contact; (ii) direct inoculation (e.g. injury); and (iii) transmission to humans from environmental or zoonotic reservoirs, and by insects. The importance of the different transmission pathways and the strength of the evidence were assessed considering the number of publications describing similar findings, the consistency of the findings and the methodological quality of the studies.RESULTS: A total of 79 relevant articles were retained out of 3,805 hits resulting from the application of the search strategy. Solid evidence for transmission among contacts exists, and for zoonotic leprosy in the southern States of the USA. Based on the extant evidence, skin-to-skin contact, aerosols/droplets and shedding of bacteria into the environment and subsequent infection, e.g. through dust or small wounds, all remain possible options.CONCLUSION: No study has unequivocally demonstrated the mechanisms by which M. leprae bacteria travel from one case of leprosy to another.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Swiss Centre for International Health (SCIH) > Systems Strengthening and Health Promotion (Prytherch)
UniBasel Contributors:Bratschi, Martin and Steinmann, Peter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Review Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal item
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Last Modified:30 Jun 2016 11:00
Deposited On:27 Jan 2016 14:22

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