Introduction  &  Objectives

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that can manifest a wide variety of immunological and clinical outcomes ranging from lepromatous pole to tuberculoid  pole. Different Th 1 and Th2 cytokine profiles are associated with leprosy such as as I L-4,I L-5, I L-6, I L-10, IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-γ.Aim of the work is the  sssessment  of serum cytokine 11-6 and IFN-y in untreated leprosy patients and correlation of their patterns with the disease spectra.

Material &  Methods

A case - control study was conducted on 50 patients of untreated leprosy and 20 healthy control subjects. Patients were classified into five groups (Tubercloid, Borderline tubercloid, Borderline Borderline, Borderline Lepromatous,and LepromatousLeprosy). IFN-γ and IL-6 were measured by ELISA technique.


Serum levels of both IL 6 and INF-γ were significantly  higher in patients than controls  (P<0.001 and P<0.002 respectively). Regarding different spectra of leprosy; INF-γ was significantly  higher in Tuberciloid and Borderline Tubercloid than Borderline Borderline, Borderline Lepromatous and Lepromatousleprosy(P<0.001, P<0.005,  P:0.51,  P =0.15 and P=0.12 respectively).  On contrast, I L6 was significantly higher lepromatous Leprosy, Borderline Lepromatous and Borderline Borderline groups than Borderline Tubercloid and Tubercloids groups (P<0.001,  P<0.002, P=0.037, P=0.98 and =0.72 respectively).


INF-γ and IL6 may have a significant role in classifying various forms of leprosy and in predicting the immune response of patients. They may predict the prognosis of the disease after treatment.