At present, leprosy is diagnosed on the basis of clinical signs and symptoms or the presence of leprosy bacilli in a skin smear of an active lesion. To move from leprosy control to leprosy prevention, a test is needed that can identify M. leprae-infected individuals who have no signs and symptoms of leprosy but who may already transmit the bacilli to others. Reliable and affordable diagnostic or screening tests that detect the M. leprae infection at this stage, will contribute to interrupting transmission of M. leprae by identifying people eligible for either prophylactic or very early disease treatment. However, these kind of diagnostic or screening tests are not available yet.
On this page, you will find an overview of recent scientific publications on the development of diagnostic tests for leprosy (PCR, T-cell, and other immunological-based tests).
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