The contribution of genetic susceptibility factors to the high leprosy incidence in a family from Anjouan, Comoros

Project Details


Leprosy remains a public health problem in the Comoros despite intense application of WHO recommended control measures. Studies on innovative approaches to leprosy control have not yet reduced the incidence significantly in highly endemic villages. The leprosy control programme, as well as members of an affected family, wonder whether inherited risk factors play a role. As a pilot study, we propose to seek informed consent to collect blood samples from the members of a multiplex leprosy family – which have requested investigations into their increased susceptibility – and to perform genomic studies on their DNA. The core family includes eight living members of which seven are affected with multibacillary (MB) leprosy, 15 members of the extended family including one MB and four paucibacillary (PB) patients. With an unbiased whole genome sequencing approach, we aim to identify candidate mutations with a potential for a strong impact on leprosy susceptibility. Further, we perform social science analyses, like qualitative interviewing and observation techniques, aiming to collect data on perceptions, lived experiences and ultimately the feasibility of such a genetic susceptibility study in the Comoros. 

Effective start/end date16/05/2415/02/25


  • Flemish Government - Department of Economy, Science & Innovation: €20,000.00