What is the pathophysiology of leprosy in individuals who have a minimal immune response?

Updated: Aug 24, 2018
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Individuals with minimal cellular immune response have the lepromatous form of the disease, which is characterized by extensive skin involvement. Skin lesions are often described as infiltrated nodules and plaques, and nerve involvement tends to be symmetric in distribution. The organism grows best at 27-30°C; therefore, skin lesions tend to develop in the cooler areas of the body, with sparing of the groin, axilla, and scalp. This form of the disease is also referred to as multibacillary leprosy because of the large number of bacteria found in the lesions (ie, >6 lesions, with possible visualization of bacilli on smear). Results of skin tests with antigen from killed organisms are nonreactive.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!