The present study was carried out to establish the role of IgG subclasses in leprosy. IgG subclasses to Mycobacterium leprae sonicated antigens (MLSA) and phenolic glycolipid-I (PGL-I) were determined in 124 patients with active leprosy across the disease spectrum and in 76 cases with inactive disease after completion of chemotherapy. IgG2 antibodies were found to be the predominant subclass across the disease spectrum. Lepromatous patients showed elevated levels of IgGI. IgG3 antibody levels were higher in lepromatous than that in tuberculoid patients. Patients with erythema nodosum leprosum showed a significant fall in IgG3 antibody to MLSA. While chemotherapy induced a reduction in IgG1, IgG2 and IgG3 to PGL-I in almost all types of leprous patients, for MLSA the reduction was noticed for these subclasses only in lepromatous patients. IgG4 responses to these antigens were low through out the disease spectrum and did not alter with chemotherapy.

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