Back to search

Leprosy Reactions: Unraveling Immunological Mechanisms Underlying Tissue Damage in Leprosy Patients.


Leprosy is a chronic granulomatous infectious and disabling disease caused by two mycobacteria, Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Acute inflammatory responses, known as leprosy reactions, are significant contributors to disabilities. Three types of leprosy reactions have been identified based on excessive cytokine release (e.g. type 1) or the accumulation of immune complexes in tissues inducing multiorgan damage (e.g. types 2 and 3). The type of leprosy reaction has implications on treatment and management strategies, yet are not well understood by health workers caring for leprosy patients. We attempt to describe the immunologic mechanisms behind the different leprosy reactions and the rationale for tailoring clinical treatment and management to the particular type of leprosy reaction based on the underlying immunologic situation.

More information

Journal Article
Serrano-Coll H
Wan E
Restrepo-Rivera L
Cardona-Castro N