Evaluation of nerve growth factor serum level for early detection of leprosy disability

Dhelya Widasmara, Sri Linuwih Menaldi, Agus Turchan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: this research aimed to analyze nerve growth factor (NGF) contents as diagnostic tools for early disability in leprosy patients and the cut-off point value. Methods: research samples consisted of 79 leprosy patients with disability grade 0 or 1 who met the clinically approved inclusion criteria. The age of patients ranged from 14 to 50 years. For both sample groups, blood serum was collected to determine NGF concentration. NGF level was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) according to the manual guide of the kit insert from Cussabio®. Statistical analysis used SPSS 17 software for Windows. A comparison was performed with the Student's t-test and the NGF concentration cut-off point was determined using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Results: the research result demonstrated that NGF concentration in multibacillary leprosy with disability grade 0 was higher than in grade 1. Leprosy with disability grade 0 had an NGF content reaching 100.46 pg/mL, while those with grade 1 had a lower concentration of NGF at 30.56 pg/mL. The higher disability grade indicated a lower NGF concentration in the blood serum. Based on the ROC analysis result, the NGF cut-off was shown to be 81.43 pg/mL. This result indicated that low NGF in nerve and skin lesions of leprosy patients contributes to early peripheral nerve malfunction due to Mycobacterium leprae infection. Conclusion: these results prove that NGF can be used as a marker of early disability in leprosy, with the cut-off value at 81.43 pg/mL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number145
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Detection
  • Disability
  • Early
  • Growth
  • Leprosy
  • Nerve


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