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Adenosine Deaminase, (ADA) level in leprosy

ISI Ogbu
IN Nnatuanya
JC Onyeanusi


Background: Adenosine deaminase (ADA) is involved in and the catabolism of toxic de-oxynucleotides (5) and modulation of insulin action. Although its activities in leprosy have been measured, its characteristics have not been reported.
Objective: To determine adenosine deaminase activities in leprosy and possible variation with age and drug history.
Method: Ninety eight (98) leprosy patients, 54 males and 44 females, aged 25-67 years, of the Leper Colony in Oji River, Enugu State of Nigeria were studied. Fifty, (50), 20 and 28 patients were on colony, on drugs and newly diagnosed respectively. Serum adenosine deaminase activity was assayed using the method of Martinek, (1963).
Results: Mean adenosine deaminase activity in leprosy was 40.99 ± 28.1 U/l, and showed no significant male, (40.38 ± 26.78 U/l), female, (41.5 ± 29.43), variations, (p > 0.05). Values in leprosy varied significantly with age, (r = 0.3127; p = 0.0021) and between the three groups, (F = 487.9, p < 0.0001). The enzyme activity of on-colony subjects was significantly raised above control values.
Conclusion: Adenosine deaminase activity in leprosy was significantly elevated and varied with age and drug history. The marked elevation in enzyme activity in untreated patients, significant decrease with drug administration and the relative ease of adenosine deaminase assay, indicate that the enzyme may serve as a biochemical marker of leprosy useful for diagnosis and prognosis.

Key Words: Adenosine deaminase; leprosy; diagnosis; immunoenzyme marker; biochemical marker.

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eISSN: 1118-2601