Leprosy is caused by Mycobacterium leprae infection and remains a major public health problem in many areas of the world. Challenges to its timely diagnosis result in delay in treatment, which is usually associated with severe disability. Although phenolic glycolipid (PGL)-I has been reported as auxiliary diagnostic tool, currently there is no serological assay routinely used in leprosy diagnosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two related reagents, LID-1 and LID-NDO, for the detection of M. leprae infection. Sera from 98 leprosy patients, 365 household contacts (HHC) and 98 endemic controls from Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, were evaluated. A subgroup of the HHC living in a hyperendemic area was followed for 7-10 years. Antigen-specific antibody responses were highest in multibacillary (MB) at the lepromatous pole (LL/BL) and lowest in paucibacillary (PB) at the tuberculoid pole (TT/BT). A positive correlation for both anti-LID-1 and anti-LID-NDO antibodies was found with bacterial burden (LID-1, r = 0.84, p