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Chapter 14

HLTB21H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Mycobacterium Leprae, Bacilli, Laminin

Health Studies
Course Code
Caroline Barakat

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Prashanthan Oct/04/2012
Leprosy/Hansen’s Disease
Ch. 14
Referenced in Bible
Considered as disease of the soul
Job considered patron of lepers
o Depicted with black spots (sign of leprosy)
A Look Back
Probably arose in Far East about 1400 BC
India to Greece via soldiers of Alexander the great OR Far East to West via trade routes
Described by Aractus 150 AD
Emperor Constantine suffered from leprosy
Believed to be divine punishment for sins
Lepers were stigmatized and isolated in leper houses believed to be contagious
Believed that tuberculosis provides resistance
Spain & Africa Americas 16th and 17th century
Epidemic in Hawaii led to banishing of lepers to Molokai in 1860s
Father Damien arrived in Molokai, provided comfort and compassion to lepers -1873
o Died in 1889 (supposedly to leprosyreinforced belief that it was highly infectious)
Leprosarium in America contained lepers and stripped them of rights 1921
The Disease
Mycobacterium leprae discovered by Gerhard Armauer Hansen 1873
Grows slowly incubation period: 5-6 months
No known vectors
Low infectivity
Tuberculoid leprosy associated with severe nerve damage
Lepromatous leprosy associated with face deformation, shortened digits
o Death typically from renal failure and pneumonia
Enter body via nose/open woundSchwann cells surface(due to affinity for laminin) invade
Schwann cell (unknown method)
Once inside Schwann, temporarily protected by host immune system
o Over time, immune system attacks infected Schwann, thus damaging nerves
o Lead to soft tissue, degraded bones (limbs and digits)
Where Leprosy is
Usually acquired in childhood
Infect males more frequently than females
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