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Diet and nutrition: An important risk factor in leprosy

Dwivedi, Ved Prakash, Banerjee, Arindam, Das, Indraneel, Saha, Aparajita, Dutta, Malabika, Bhardwaj, Bhavya, Biswas, Saptarshi, Chattopadhyay, Debprasad
Microbial pathogenesis 2019 v.137 pp. 103714
Mycobacterium leprae, World Health Organization, antibiotics, diet, humoral immunity, immune response, malnutrition, multibacillary leprosy, patients, risk factors, rural areas, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), therapeutics
Leprosy, once considered as poor man's disease may cause severe neurological complications and physical disabilities. Classification of leprosy depends upon the cell mediated and humoral immune responses of the host, from tuberculoid to lepromatous stage. Current therapy to prevent the disease is not only very lengthy but also consists of expensive multiple antibiotics in combination. Treatment and the duration depend on the bacillary loads, from six months in paucibacillary to a year in multibacillary leprosy. Although as per WHO recommendations, these antibiotics are freely available but still out of reach to patients of many rural areas of the world. In this review, we have focused on the nutritional aspect during the multi-drug therapy of leprosy along with the role of nutrition, particularly malnutrition, on susceptibility of Mycobacterium leprae and development of clinical symptoms. We further discussed the diet plan for the patients and how diet plans can affect the immune responses during the disease.