Understanding the stigma of leprosy
Leprosy is the oldest disease known to man. The earliest written records describing true leprosy came from India around the period 600 BC. Leprosy is caused by Mycobacterium leprae; the Norwegian, Dr Amauer Hansen, isolated the bacterium in 1873. Leprosy is also called Hansen’s disease after him. Although it is the first human pathogenic bacterium to be defined, M. leprae is the only bacterium causing disease in man that has not been cultured in the laboratory.