About this Research Topic
Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded debilitating diseases affecting mankind, the immunopathology of which is characterized by fluctuating granulomatous inflammation that targets mainly skin and peripheral nerve. The disease is caused by infection with Mycobacterium leprae, a slow growing obligatory intracellular and non-cultivatable organism. The disease is manifested with diverse pathology due to varied immune (both innate and adaptive) responses of the hosts as a result of cognate interaction with the organism. Of note, leprosy can be regarded as a unique model to elucidate the complexity of host immunity at both skin and systemic levels.
New cases of leprosy continue to emerge despite the availability of effective multi drug therapy, suggesting continued M. leprae transmission. Although the immunopathology of leprosy has been elucidated considerably by studying the relationship between host immunity and disease activity, many facets of the disease pathology remain speculative because of the lack of any defined animal or in vitro experimental models. Furthermore, a remaining challenge lies in the development of immunological predictive tools that would help prevent extensive tissue destruction, in particular nerve damage, the latter being a hallmark of leprosy.
The current collection of articles from different experts includes research on the immune- patho-mechanism of leprosy as well as innovative diagnostics for early detection of individuals at risk of developing leprosy. In parallel the gained understanding will contribute to the elucidation of the complexity of skin immunity. We encourage submissions of concise reviews and original research articles covering on the following principal aspects immunity against leprosy: skin Immunity, clinical immunopathology, innate immunity (both humoral and cellular), adaptive immunity, cytokine mediators, hormonal effects, metabolomics, genetics and vaccines.
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