The aetiology of leprosy is not known. However, it is believed to be caused by an infection with Mycobacterium leprae, which is a slow-growing bacterium.
Diagnosis of leprosy is based on clinical examination and laboratory tests. Laboratory tests include skin smears, histopathology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Differential diagnosis of leprosy includes other skin infections, syphilis, and tuberculosis.
Treatment of leprosy involves the use of antibiotics such as dapsone, rifampicin, clofazimine, and minocycline.
The prognosis of leprosy is generally good with early diagnosis and treatment. However, if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications such as nerve damage, eye problems, and skin ulcers.