(Science: infectious disease) Caused by mycobacterium leprae, an obligate intracellular parasite that survives lysosomal enzyme attack by possessing a waxy coat.

leprosy is a chronic disease associated with depressed cellular (but not humoral) immunity, the bacterium requires a lower temperature than 37�C and thrives particularly in peripheral schwann cells and macrophages.

Only humans and the nine banded armadillo are susceptible.

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