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Leprosy (Hansen's Disease)

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Leprosy (Hansen's Disease) is a chronic infectious disease that primarily affects the peripheral nerves, skin, upper respiratory tract, eyes, and nasal mucosa (lining of the nose). The disease is caused by a bacillus (rod-shaped) bacterium known as Mycobacterium leprae.

Researchers are exploring more avenues than ever before in the search for solutions to leprosy, now that the genome of M. leprae has been sequenced. NIAID's goals are to discover reservoirs of infection, routes of transmission, and incubation periods so the disease can be stopped before patients even have symptoms. New tests for early detection of leprosy before nerve damage occurs are now being developed.

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Leprosy in U.S. May Be Transmitted by Armadillos, Study Finds—April 27, 2011

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Understanding Leprosy

What is Leprosy?

 

Diagnosis and Treatment

 

History of the Disease

 

Leprosy Today

 

Research on Leprosy

 

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Last Updated September 30, 2013

Last Reviewed May 11, 2011