Mycobacterium leprae is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Acid-fast bacillus (AFB) morphologically resembles tubercle bacillus.
    • M. leprae seen worldwide, but most common in Asia, Central and South America. Brazil, India, and Indonesia contribute 80% to the global new caseload[20].
    • Newly identified species M. lepromatosis sp nov has been proposed as causing disseminated leprosy[8].
  • Slow-growing. Obligate intracellular pathogen, average doubling time ~2 weeks. Cannot culture in the microbiology lab.
    • Armadillos and immunocompromised mice used to grow M. leprae for research purposes.

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Last updated: December 8, 2019