Imported leprosy in Italy

Massone, C., Brunasso, A. M. G., Noto, S., Campbell, T. M., Clapasson. A. and Nunzi, E. (2012) Imported leprosy in Italy. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 26 8: 999-1006. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04201.x

Author Massone, C.
Brunasso, A. M. G.
Noto, S.
Campbell, T. M.
Clapasson. A.
Nunzi, E.
Title Imported leprosy in Italy
Journal name Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0926-9959
Publication date 2012
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04201.x
Volume 26
Issue 8
Start page 999
End page 1006
Total pages 8
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Leprosy is far from being eliminated with more than 200000 new cases detected (NCD)/year.

Retrospective analysis between 2003 and 2009 to compare the New Case Detected Rate (NCDR) observed in Italy in the immigrant population with the NCDR of the same population in their country of origin to verify if the cases observed are those expected or not.

Leprosy statistics were retrieved from the Italian leprosy register and from official WHO data.


The NCD in Italy were lower than expected, from 2003 when the expected number of NCD was 40.5 between the legally resident immigrants, but only one case was diagnosed (98% of lower from the expected), to 2009 when four NCD were diagnosed and 41 were expected (90% lower from expected).

This study points out a discrepancy between the observed and the expected cases of leprosy in Italy. Specifically, the number of NCD was less than expected for each studied year. Of course our data do not represent a validation, but only an indication of the leprosy diagnosis in Italy. Difficulty in accessing the health systems, fear of segregation, ignorance and illegal immigrant status with consequent fear of police arrest are possible explaining factors. The critical issue anyhow is the medical expertise. The role of the dermatologist is fundamental. For these reasons, there is still a need for wide spread leprosy teaching programmes. Although with few limitations, this study represents a first approach to validate the accuracy in leprosy diagnosis in Italy.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 11 August 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 08 Dec 2011, 14:44:50 EST by Nicole Lin on behalf of Medicine - Princess Alexandra Hospital