Data on leprosy patients have been obtained from the Dispensary of Leprosy of Campinas, Sao Paulo, where records on practically all cases of leprosy in the Campinas area during the period 1960-70 are filed. The whole sample comprises 10,886 individuals, distributed among 1,568 families. Complex segregation analysis was utilized to determine the nature of the genetic factors that may operate on leprosy and its subtypes. The results suggest the presence of a recessive major gene controlling susceptibility to leprosy per se, with frequency of ~.05, although there are deviations from the expected Mendelian segregation proportions. Possible etiologic heterogeneity was examined by considering two subtypes separately: for lepromatous leprosy and tuberculoid leprosy there are suggestions for a segregating major effect; however, Mendelian transmission could not be demonstrated in either case. Therefore, there is no evidence to suggest unique genetic determinants for leprosy subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1185
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1995


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