Leprosy (कुष्ठ रोग) is a long-term infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae / Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Hansen disease (HD) is another name of leprosy. It is a slowly developing, progressive disease that damages the skin and nervous system. Early symptoms begin in cooler areas of the body including loss of sensation. It’s thought that leprosy spreads through contact with the mucosal secretions of a person with the infection. Symptoms may not appear for as long as 20 years.
1. Traditional Classification
Traditionally, it has been classified into two major types, Tuberculoid and lepromatous. In the case of tuberculoid, patients have limited disease and relatively few bacteria in the skin and nervous while in lepromatous patients have widespread disease and large numbers of bacteria.
2. World Health Organization’s Classification
World Health Organization (1982) proposed a simplified classification that has only two classifications they are Paucibacillary(PB) and Multibacillary(MB). This classification is now used worldwide for treatment purpose.
3. Ridley- Jopling classification
Clinical studies use the Ridley Jopling system. It has five classifications based on the severity of symptoms. They are as Viz:
- Borderline tuberculoid
- Mid borderline l
- Borderline lepromatous
An indeterminate leprosy is also a form of leprosy that isn’t included in the Ridley-Jopling classification system. It is considered to be a very early form.
The main symptoms are:
- Muscles weakness
- Lesions on body part including flat lesions raised bumps, plaques, and nodules with bacteria
- Hair loss, particularly on eyebrow and eyelashes
- Skin Lesions
The skin lesions result in decreased sensation to touch, temperature, or pain. They don’t heal even after several weeks. They are lighter than normal skin tone.
WHO developed a multidrug therapy in 1995 to cure all types of leprosy. It is available free all over the world. Additional, several antibiotics treat leprosy by killing bacteria. These antibiotics are:
- Dapsone (Aczone)
- Rifampin (Rifadin)
- Clofazimine (lamprene)
- Minocycline (Minocin)
- Ofloxacin (Ocuflux)
Some anti-inflammatory medications are also used for treatment they are
- Aspirin (Bayer)
- Prednisone (Rayos)
- Thalidomide (Thalomid)
The treatment will last for months and possibly up 1 to 2 years.