Back to search

Leprosy - A Review


Leprosy is divided into paucibacillary and multibacillary types, depending on whether bacilli are present in the skin smear. In tuberculoid leprosy, a strong cell-mediated immune response results in isolated lesions and histologically granulomatous lesions where no bacillus is present. In lepromatous leprosy, poor cell-mediated immunity results in diffuse lesions in which numerous bacilli are present. Low-dose dapsone monotherapy led to the development of dapsone resistance in the 1970s; but with the introduction of WHO multi-drug therapy, the incidence of leprosy has declined dramatically. There have been relapses both after dapsone monotherapy and WHO multi-drug therapy. Persisting organisms have been found even after high dose regimen and in clinically cured patients. Continual surveillance is therefore important. Promising new drugs include minocycline, sparfloxacin, and clarithromycin.

More information

Journal Article