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Flashcards in Leprosy Deck (16)
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What is Leprosy and what does it affect?

A chronic granulomatous disease that affects peripheral nerves and superficial tissues (nasal mucosa)


What is the causative agent of Leprosy?

M. Leprae


How does M. Leprae differ from M. Tuberculosis?

It cannot be grown on agar media or in cell culture


What is the host of M. Leprae?

Humans, and armadillos


What are the two major forms of leprosy?

Tuberculoid and lepromatous


How is Leprosy transmitted?

Small droplets of nasal secretions from leprosy patients, infectivity is low


What is the incubation of Leprosy?

2-7 years; contraction requires close contact with an infected person


What area of the world do new infections arise?

India and Brazil


What is M. Leprae an obligate intracellular parasite of?

Macrophages and Schwann cells, can also invade peripheral neurons


What determines the extent of leprosy as a disease?

Degree of T-Cell mediated immunity; lepromatous cases lack TH1 mediators


What does the Tuberculoid Leprosy present with? Describe this version of the disease briefly

Single skin lesion on the face, limb, and buttocks; peripheral nerve involvement can leave lesions anesthetic; low numbers of organisms are in the lesion and the patient is usually not contagious, lesions can heal spontaneously and good prognosis


What does the Lepromatous leprosy present with? Describe it briefly

Progressive, first sign is edema and rhinitis; lesions are extensive on face, buttocks, and limbs; infiltration in ear lobes; drainage can be severe with perforation of nasal septum and collapse of nose; loss of fingers to neurotrophic atrophy; atrophy of testicles; spreads to RES


How is leprosy diagnosed?

Mostly clinical (can't be grown in culture); confirm with skin biopsies and AFB's


What is essential for treatment of leprosy?

Multi drug therapy (resistance is a problem)


What is the treatment of tuberculoid leprosy?

Sulfone (Para-aminobenzoic acid metabolism inhibitor) with Rifampin can cure tuberculoid leprosy with 6 months of treatment


What is the treatment of Lepromatous leprosy?

Clofazimine is added to treatment for lepromatous form for at least 2 years; Prophylaxis with sulfones on children in close contact; Early diagnosis and treatment is essential