Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the past, Leprosy affected millions of people, but now the number of active cases worldwide is less than 300. 000, primarily due to multidrug therapy. The disease produces unique temperature-linked damage to peripheral nerves, with sensory and motor deficits in cooler areas of the body. Mycobacterium leprae is the only bacterial organism that regularly invades the peripheral nerve. Resultant loss of pain and temperature sensation, and cutaneous loss of sweating with preservation of motor power results in preventable deformity due to infections, burns, and trauma. Leprosy occurs in multi- and paucibacillary forms depending on the host immunity; the organism is the same for all types. Approximately 95% of the population appears to be totally immune to the disease; armadillos are affected and may constitute an animal reservoir of M. leprae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of the Neurological Sciences
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123851574
ISBN (Print)9780123851581
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Armadillo
  • Blindness
  • Deformity
  • Erythema nodosum leprosum
  • Hansen's disease
  • Leprosy
  • Multidrug therapy
  • Mycobacterium leprae
  • Neuropathy
  • Stigma
  • Ulceration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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