Leprosy pp 39-42 | Cite as


  • Cesare Massone
  • Enrico Nunzi


Leprosy pathogenesis has not been definitively understood. However, three points are indisputable: the etiological agent is Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae), the disease develops only in susceptible individuals, and in endemic countries the environment (low socioeconomic status and overcrowding) plays a role in the transmission of the infection. Leprosy disease and clinical manifestations are the result of a dynamic interactive process between M. leprae and the cell-mediated immunity (CMI) of genetically predisposed subjects. Subjects with a predominantly Th1 immune response will develop a high degree of CMI and localized disease with few bacilli (tuberculoid leprosy). On the contrary, individuals with a predominantly response will develop a weak CMI with an increased humoral immunity: bacilli will survive and replicate, developing a systemic disease (lepromatous leprosy).


Schwann Cell Lepromatous Leprosy Mycobacterium Leprae Epithelioid Granuloma Tuberculoid Leprosy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyMedical University of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Visiting Professor of DermatologyUniversidad Tecnica Particular de LojaLoja Ecuador

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