Leprosy is an ancient chronic infectious disease caused by the Mycobacterium leprae that presents a peculiar tropism for skin and peripheral nerves. The disease is still a global public health problem; Brazil ranks in the second highest number of cases of the disease. The upper airways are considered the most important means of entry and elimination of the bacillus, however lesions in the oral mucosa of patients with leprosy are rare and develop only in advanced stages of the disease. The oral cavity has an important role as a route of transmission of the disease, then it is relevant to study the events associated with the specific oral lesions of leprosy. Considering the importance of Th1, Th2, Tregs and Th17 cells in the leprosy pathogenesis, this work aims to determine the participation of Th1 (IFN-g and TNF-a), Th2 (IL-4 and IL-5), Tregs (IL-10 and TGF-b), Th17 (IL-17) cells and anti-PGL-1 antibody on skin and oral mucosa of patients who developed oral and cutaneous lesions of leprosy. Samples from 15 patients, male and female, who present oral and cutaneous lesions, regardless the clinical form, based on clinical, histopathological and bacteriological criteria will be studied. We intend to determine the phenotypic characteristics of the inflammatory infiltrating cells of oral mucosa and skin through an immunohistochemical analysis, with emphasis to Th1 (IFN-g and TNF-a), Th2 (IL-4 and IL-5), Tregs (IL-10 and TGF-b), Th17 (IL-17) cells and anti-PGL-1 antibody. The ummunoreactivity will be evaluated by independent counts of 10 fields in each sample, and the data will be analyzed by multivariate tests.
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