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Mycobacterium leprae Br4923

Mycobacterium leprae (strain Br4923) is an unculturable very slow-growing, acid-fast, obligate intracellular bacterium, which is non-motile and rod-shaped, Mycobacterium leprae is responsible for leprosy. It’s an human and Mammalian animal pathogen. Leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions are the primary external symptom. Left untreated, leprosy can be progressive, causing permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. Contrary to popular belief, leprosy does not actually cause body parts to simply fall off. People who have leprosy used to be forced to live in isolated colonies. It is now commonly believed that many of the people who were segregated into these communities were presumed to have leprosy, when they actually had syphilis. Leprosy is not highly infectious, as approximately 95% of people are immune; syphilis is more contagious. Before the 1940's leprosy was considered incurable until the development of the drug dapsone. M.leprae has however started to develop resistance to dapsone and so a new multiple-drug therapy (MDT) containing three drugs: dapsone, rifampicin and clofazimine is administered.
Strain Br4923 was isolated in Brazil. It belongs to SNP type 4 subtypes P according to a new phylogenetic grouping. Comparison of 4 genomes indicates they are 99.995% identical, differing by only 215 polymorphisms and by 5 pseudogenes. SNP typing suggests that leprosy which rose in Africa was introduced into Asia by both a southern route and a northerly route which followed the Silk Road.

 

 

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