On the origin of leprosy

  title={On the origin of leprosy},
  author={Stewart T. Cole and Marc Monot and Nadine Honoré},
  journal={BMC Proceedings},
Leprosy, a chronic human disease with potentially debilitating neurological consequences, results from infection with Mycobacterium leprae. This unculturable pathogen has undergone extensive reductive evolution, with half of its genome now occupied by pseudogenes. Using comparative genomics, we demonstrated that all extant cases of leprosy are attributable to a single clone whose dissemination worldwide can be retraced from analysis of very rare single-nucleotide polymorphisms. The disease… 
Mycobacterium leprae: genes, pseudogenes and genetic diversity.
Comparative genomics of four different strains revealed remarkable conservation of the genome yet uncovered 215 polymorphic sites, mainly single nucleotide polymorphisms, and a handful of new pseudogenes, which helped retrace the evolution of M. leprae.
Current status of leprosy: Epidemiology, basic science and clinical perspectives
The introduction of multidrug therapy has significantly contributed to a decrease in the prevalence of the disease, however, leprosy control activities, including monitoring and prevention programs, must be maintained.
Unsolved matters in leprosy: a descriptive review and call for further research
Challenges remain in the understanding of the epidemiology of leprosy including: the precise mode and route of transmission; the socioeconomic, environmental, and behavioral factors that promote its transmission; and strategies to achieve early diagnosis and prevent neurologic impairment.
On the Age of Leprosy
It is most likely that the leprosy bacilli started parasitic evolution in humans or early hominids millions of years ago, which makes leproSy the oldest human-specific infection.
The Continuing Challenges of Leprosy
This review focuses on recent advances in the understanding of M. leprae and the host response to it, especially concerning molecular identification of M.'s genome, transcriptome, and proteome, its mechanisms of microbial resistance, and recognition of strains by variable-number tandem repeat analysis.
Tuberculosis and leprosy in perspective.
Current phylogenetic and biogeographic models derived from molecular biology are reviewed and their implications for the global development of TB and leprosy, past and present are explored.
The history of leprosy in Dubrovnik: an overview
The disease apparently originated in East Africa and spread by human migrations so that Europeans and North Africans brought it to West Africa and America during the past 500 years.
Severe leprosy reactions due to Mycobacterium lepromatosis.
From the lymph node tissue, the authors showed the bacillus to be M lepromatosis, not M leprae as presumed previously, by differential polymerase chain reactions and analysis of gene sequences.
Ancient Skeletal Evidence for Leprosy in India (2000 B.C.)
Results indicate that lepromatous leprosy was present in India by 2000 B.C. at a time when there was substantial interaction among the Indus Civilization, Mesopotamia, and Egypt.
Treatment of leprosy/Hansen's disease in the early 21st century
  • S. Worobec
  • Medicine, Biology
    Dermatologic therapy
  • 2009
Hansen's disease is a worldwide disease with about 150 new cases reported annually in the United States, and many patients experience severe reversal and erythema nodosum leprosum reactions that also require treatment.


References and Notes
our experimentation could eventually be used to discredit our findings, should they happen not to agree with the original observations. It seems important that all experiments in the rapidly