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· Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae).
· It mainly affects the skin, peripheral nerves, and mucous membranes.
· It is a disease mainly of human beings, which affects people of all races, all ages, and both sexes.
· Similar to TB, leprosy bacilli are mainly transmitted through infectious droplets that are spread by an infectious individual through coughing and sneezing.
· Patients carrying many leprosy bacilli are called multibacillary (MB) patients.
· They are the main source of infection.
· People may carry the bacilli but not develop the disease.
· These people, called healthy carriers, are also probably able to transmit the bacilli to others.
· Individuals with few bacilli in their body are called paucibacillary (PB).
· Like healthy carriers, they are not a significant source of infection.
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