lepido-, lepid-, lepo-, -lepis, lepro-, lepr- +
(Greek > Latin lepra: flake, scale, scales, scaly, scabby)
2. A superficial granulomatous nodule rich in Mycobacterium leprae, and the characteristic lesion of lepromatous leprosy.
3. A fairly well-circumscribed discrete focus of granulomatous inflammation, caused by Mycobacterium leprae, which consists chiefly of an accumulation of large mononuclear phagocytic cells in which the cytoplasm seems finely vacuolated (i.e., foam cells); the foamlike character of the macrophages is related to the engulfing of numerous acid-fast organisms.
2. An extract of tissue infected with Mycobacterium leprae used in skin tests to classify the stage of leprosy.
"For thousands of years leprosy was one of the world's most feared communicable diseases because the nerve and skin damage usually resulted in terrible disfigurement and disability; however, now leprosy can normally be cured, particularly if treatment starts early in a leprosarium."
2. Rough to the touch; covered with scales or scurf.
2. An agent that inhibits the growth of M. leprae.
2. A chronic, mildly contagious granulomatous disease of tropical and subtropical regions, caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae, characterized by ulcers of the skin, bone, and viscera and leading to loss of sensation, paralysis, gangrene, and deformation.
Also called Hansen's disease. Named after Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen (1841-1912), a Norwegian physician. He was born in Bergen, Norway; and in 1869 he discovered the bacillus that causes leprosy.
More details about leprosy
A chronic disease caused by infection with an acid-fast bacillus of the genus Mycobacterium (M. leprae) and characterized by the formation of nodules on the surface of the body and especially on the face or by the appearance of tuberculoid macules on the skin that enlarge and spread and are accompanied by loss of sensation followed sooner or later in both types if not treated by involvement of nerves with eventual paralysis, wasting of muscle, and production of deformities and mutilations; also hansenosis, Hansen's disease, lepra. Only humans and the nine banded armadillo are known to be susceptible.
There are two principal types, with the lepromatous type at one end of the spectrum and the tuberculoid type at the other; between these two polar types is the borderline type, with two subtypes, borderline tuberculoid and borderline lepromatous.
Mycobacterium leprae is the causative agent of human leprosy, not yet cultivated in vitro, isolated from suspect lesions as acid-fast bacilli. They typically occur in intracellular clumps or rounded masses or in groups of bacilli side by side.
The lepromatous form is characterized by skin lesions and symmetrical involvement of peripheral nerves with anesthesia, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
An ancient disease which still exists in modern times
For thousands of years, leprosy was one of the world's most feared communicable diseases, because the skin and nerve damage often led to terrible disfigurement and disability.
In ancient sources; such as, the Bible, the term "leprosy" was used to describe a number of cutaneous diseases, especially those of a contagious and chronic nature, probably including psoriasis.
The classic clinical form of leprosy is called anesthetic leprosy. It chiefly affects the nerves. The condition is marked initially by hyperesthesia (excess sensation) succeeded by anesthesia (lack of feeling) and by paralysis, ulceration, and various other problems, ending horribly in gangrene and self-mutilation.
The term "Hansen disease" instead of leprosy is now preferred by some experts, because it is less perjorative.
Hansen disease was named in honor of the Norwegian physician, Gerhard Armauer Henrik Hansen, who in 1873 discovered the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae, the first microbe found to be the agent which causes of this human disease.
Hansen's discovery preceded Robert Koch's demonstration of the bacterial cause of anthrax by three years. Hansen's research helped to establish fundamental principles in microbiology, immunology, and public health.
2. Of, relating to, or resembling leprosy
3. In biology, having or consisting of loose, scurfy scales.
4. Relating to or suffering from leprosy.
Cross references directly, or indirectly, involving the "skin": callus-; chorio-; cicatri- (scar); cori-; cuti-; hymen-; papulo- (pimple); psoro- (itch, mange); pustu- (blister, pimple); rhytid- (wrinkle); scabio- (mange, itchy); sebo- (grease, oil).