MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Can animals get leprosy?

Date: Wed Jul 12 11:11:11 2000
Posted By: Mike Crawford, Postdoctoral Fellow, Biology
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 962835521.Me

The bacteria that causes leprosy in humans (Mycobacterium leprae) can be injected into the footpads of mice, start to grow, and
create sores similar to that seen in leprosy, but there is no further spreading of disease as in humans.  The best animal model
to date, strangely enough, is the armidillo, where a spreading and growth in the peripheral nerves is seen.  Animals closely related
to humans, such as rhesus monkeys, can also be infected, but are more expensive to house.  If you'd like some more techinical
primary references on this, check out MEDLINE ( and
put in 'leprosy AND animal model AND review'

Hope this helps

Michael Crawford

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