Macrophages from lepromatous leprosy patients showed poor adherence toMycobacterium leprae. The phagocytic activity of the macrophages was not correlated to the influence on the adherence ability. Based on the phagocytic behaviour of macrophages from normal individuals and from lepromatous leprosy, patients as well as the action of neuraminidase in reversing the extent of adherence, it is suggested that macrophages from lepromatous leprosy patients differ from those from normal individuals in regard to their surface properties. There was no relationship between the degree of adherence and the concentration of Fc receptors of the macrophages. It was also shown that an extract of lysed macrophages from lepromatous leprosy patient was able to reduce the adherence ofMycobacterium leprae to normal macrophages. This study shows that adherence is a good indicator of the surface property of macrophages which in turn could play an important role in the cell mediated immunity of the patient. The observations suggest altered macrophage membrane structure in the long term-treated, otherwise normal, lepromatous leprosy patients.
Volume 46, 2021
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