• Moetaz El-DomyatiEmail author
  • Basma Mourad
  • Hossam Abdel-Wahab
Living reference work entry


Leprosy is a chronic granulomatous disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, principally affecting the peripheral nerves and skin. Leprosy is a serious health issue in a number of low socioeconomic classes and overcrowded countries. Although it seldom kills, leprosy represents a deforming, disabling, and stigmatizing disease. It has a wide spectrum of clinical findings, including lepromatous, tuberculoid, borderline, and indeterminate poles. The diagnosis is usually made by characteristic clinical findings (typical skin lesions, skin anesthesia, or thickened nerves), slit-skin smears, skin and nerve biopsy, and lepromin test.

Antibacterial treatment (multidrug regimen) for leprosy is highly effective, with low relapse rate, but needs to be taken over many months. If left untreated, borderline patients will downgrade toward the lepromatous end of the spectrum, and lepromatous patients will suffer from the numerous complications of bacillary invasion.


Leprosy Granulomatous disease Mycobacterium leprae Slit-skin smear Lepromin test Tuberculoid leprosy Anesthesia Tuberculoid granulomas Lepromatous leprosy Leonine facies Madarosis Glove and stocking anesthesia Borderline leprosy Epithelioid cell granuloma Acute neuritis Small granuloma Pure neuritic leprosy Active neuritis Permanent nerve damage Type I reaction Reversal reaction Constitutional symptom Type II reaction Erythema nodosum leprosum Uveitis Dactylitis Arthritis Neuritis Lymphadenitis Myositis Orchitis Lucio reaction Lucio phenomenon Vasculitis Disseminated intravascular coagulation Septicemia 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moetaz El-Domyati
    • 1
    Email author
  • Basma Mourad
    • 2
  • Hossam Abdel-Wahab
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and VenereologyMinia UniversityAl-MinyaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Faculty of MedicineTanta UniversityTantaEgypt

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