Leprosy is a chronic granulomatous infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that mainly infects skin macrophages and Schwann cells in peripheral nerves. Genetic and environmental factors play an important role in leprosy. It is estimated that approximately 90% of the population develop protective immunity in infection, and, therefore, do not get sick. Other individuals, however, show clinical susceptibility to a wide spectrum of pathogens associated to changes in immune response. Data observed in various populations show that some aspects related to disease progression are due to host genetic factors that influence control of the initial infection and the host immune response to that infection. Nevertheless, individual genetic factors have a strong influence on the acquisition of or protection against leprosy, since the limited genetic diversity observed among M. leprae strains is not a significant factor for the development and the clinical course of disease.
Update on Genetics of Leprosy- Susilene Maria Tonelli Nardi
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Last date updated on June, 2014