This bacterium has an important property which has labeled it as a slowly dividing bacterium that is it takes 14 days for the growth to become two fold. This also accounts for the need for prolonged treatment of this bacterium.
This disease presents with a very interesting past and it is believed that this condition existed in 1550 B.C. because it has been mentioned by the Egyptians in their Papyrus Document. Works from the subcontinent dating to 600 B.C. also report of a pathology which very much looks like Hansen disease.
It has also been reported that this disease was considered to be inherited. People who acquired this condition were believed to have been penalized by their God for doing something wrong. Hence these people were disliked and everybody stayed away from them and the poor sufferers were considered to be such a disgrace that they were supposed to wear clothes that differentiated them from the others and they were not allowed to intermingle with the other people.
The disease state which is led to by mycobacterium leprae is known as leprosy and this is divided into two forms that are known as tuberculous leprosy or lepromatous leprosy. Both of these clinical conditions present with different symptoms.
Lepromatous leprosy is associated with many disruptions on skin which have are same in size. These lesions lose their pigmentation are marked by erythema and also present with nodules. These types of skin disruptions join together and present with an appearance that is referred to as leonine facies.
Histopathological findings of this leprosy show the presence of a specific kind of cells that are known as lepra cells which are basically macrophages that present with the appearance of foam. These cells are mainly found in the dermis and are demarcated from the epidermal layer of the skin.
The infection can be