Leprosy Agents and Principal Methods of Detection, Identification, and Characterization of the Leprosy Agents
Diagnosis of leprosy is mainly based on the identification of the clinical signs of the disease. Our incapacity to culture the leprosy bacilli in vitro made the steps toward the diagnosis confirmation using laboratory tools difficult, especially in countries where leprosy is not endemic. This chapter aims to provide an overview of the existing laboratory methods to assist clinical diagnosis, their strength, and limitations, based on different applications and various sample types from diagnosis to drug susceptibility. It also aims to list some of the reference literature from the field to guide new investigators and clinicians.