Outbreak News Today

Hansen’s Disease, or leprosy in the US

Hansen’s disease, formerly known as leprosy, is caused by the Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae ) bacteria. The infection has also been identified in nine-banded armadillos. Approximately 95 percent of people are resistant to infection; people who develop clinical illness can experience a wide range of clinical manifestations, but typically develop infections involving the skin, peripheral nerves and nasal mucosa.

Richard W. Truman, Ph.D., Chief, Laboratory Research Branch with the National Hansen’s Disease Program joined me to talk about leprosy in the United States and recent research published in the journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases entitled “Zoonotic Leprosy in the Southeastern United States”.