Current status of leprosy: Epidemiology, basic science and clinical perspectives
Article first published online: 4 OCT 2011
© 2011 Japanese Dermatological Association
The Journal of Dermatology
Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 121–129, February 2012
How to Cite
SUZUKI, K., AKAMA, T., KAWASHIMA, A., YOSHIHARA, A., YOTSU, R. R. and ISHII, N. (2012), Current status of leprosy: Epidemiology, basic science and clinical perspectives. The Journal of Dermatology, 39: 121–129. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2011.01370.x
- Issue published online: 24 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 4 OCT 2011
- Received 5 July 2011; accepted 7 July 2011.
- Mycobacterium leprae;
- social stigma
Leprosy has affected humans for millennia and remains an important health problem worldwide, as evidenced by nearly 250 000 new cases detected every year. It is a chronic infectious disorder, caused by Mycobacterium leprae, that primarily affects the skin and peripheral nerves. Recent advances in basic science have improved our knowledge of the disease. Variation in the cellular immune response is the basis of a range of clinical manifestations. The introduction of multidrug therapy has significantly contributed to a decrease in the prevalence of the disease. However, leprosy control activities, including monitoring and prevention programs, must be maintained.