Background: Leprosy or Morbus Hansen is a contagious, chronic, and infectious disease mainly caused by Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae), affecting the skin and peripheral nerves. Vitamin A is an essential non-enzymatic antioxidant for the body, which regulates various immune response components. A decline in the levels of vitamin A was discovered in leprosy. This study determined the levels of vitamin A and its comparison in multibacillary (MB) and paucibacillary (PB) type leprosy patients, also the relationship between vitamin A levels with bacterial index.
Method: This cross-sectional study included thirty-four leprosy patients, conducted at the Leprosy Division in Dermatology and Venereology Department of Haji Adam Malik General Hospital Medan, Pirngadi General Hospital Medan, Lau Simomo Leprosy Hospital, Sicanang Leprosy Hospital, and Belidahan Leprosy Hospital with consecutive sampling techniques from March to October 2018. We determined the levels of vitamin A and its comparison in multibacillary (MB) and paucibacillary (PB) type leprosy patients, also the relationship between vitamin A levels with bacterial index. A T test was then performed to compare vitamin A levels between PB and MB types of leprosy. The relationship between vitamin A levels and the bacterial index was tested using Pearson correlation.
Results: Most of these subjects were MB, male sex predominance, in 16-35 years with 21 subjects. The bacterial index of 0 can be found in 16 subjects (47.1%), +1 in 8 subjects (23.6%), +2 in as many as 5 subjects (14.7%), and +3 in 5 subjects (14.7%). The vitamin A level in MB type leprosy was lower than PB type leprosy (p = 0.001). We also found a negative correlation between vitamin A levels and the bacterial index in leprosy patients (r = -0.632, p = 0.000).
Conclusion: The higher the bacterial index value is, the lower the vitamin A level will be.