Hansen's disease and COVID-19 co-infection in Brazil

Taynah Alves Rocha Repsold, Simon M. Collin, Raquel Carvalho Bouth, Selma Regina Penha Silva Cerqueira, Marisa Simon Brezinscki, Rebeca Ruppert Galarda Baptista Peixoto, Andrea Maia Fernandes de Araújo Fonseca, Marlene Leandro dos Santos Peixoto, Seyna Rabelo Mendes, Ciro Martins Gomes, Claudio Guedes Salgado, Patrícia D. Deps*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The implications of COVID-19 co-infection in patients under treatment for Hansen's disease (HD, leprosy) remain uncertain. We aimed to describe clinical characteristics, treatments, and outcomes in patients with HD and COVID-19 in Brazil. 

Methods: Cross-sectional study recruiting adult HD patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 from five HD treatment centers in Brazil between March 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. At the time of this study, no patient had received COVID-19 vaccine. 

Results: Of 1377 patients under treatment for HD, 70 (5.1%) were diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 41 (58.6%) had PCR-confirmed COVID-19, comprising 19 men and 22 women, aged 24–67 (median 45) years. HD was multibacillary in 39/41 patients. Eight patients ceased WHO Multi-Drug Therapy for HD, three for lack of drugs, two because of COVID-19, and three for other reasons. Of the 33 who continued treatment, 26 were on the standard regimen and seven an alternative regimen. Seventeen patients were receiving oral prednisone, including nine patients with type 1 reaction, four with type 2 reaction, three with neuritis, and one with rheumatologic disease. Twelve patients were hospitalized for COVID-19, and six patients died, of whom three had hypertension and one also had type 2 diabetes and obesity. 

Conclusions: COVID-19 and Hansen's disease co-infection did not appear to change the clinical picture of either disease in this cross-sectional study. The wider impact of the pandemic on persons affected by HD requires follow-up and monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1506-1510
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Dermatology
Issue number12
Early online date1 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This study received no specific funding. CGS had support from VALE S.A. (grant no. 27756/2019).

Open Access: No Open Access licence.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 the International Society of Dermatology.

Citation: Repsold, T.A.R., Collin, S.M., Bouth, R.C., Cerqueira, S.R.P.S., Brezinscki, M.S., Peixoto, R.R.G.B., Fonseca, A.M.F.d.A., Peixoto, M.L.d.S., Rabelo Mendes, S., Gomes, C.M., Salgado, C.G. and Deps, P.D. (2022), Hansen's disease and COVID-19 co-infection in Brazil. Int J Dermatol, 61: 1506-1510. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijd.16319

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ijd.16319


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