Leprosy (Hansen's Disease)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

What is the prognosis of leprosy?

The prognosis of leprosy varies with the stage of the disease when first diagnosed and treated. For example, early diagnosis and treatment limits or prevents tissue damage so the person has a good outcome. However, if the patient's infection has progressed to more advanced disease, the complications listed above can markedly affect the patient's lifestyle, and thus the condition has a fair to poor prognosis.

Where can I find more information on leprosy?

"Leprosy Elimination," World Health Organization

"Hansen's Disease," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Han, X., K. Sizer, E. Thompson, et al. "Comparative Sequence Analysis of Mycobacterium leprae and the New Leprosy-Causing Mycobacterium lepromatosis." J Bacteriol. 191.19 (2009): 6067-6074.

Smith, D. "Leprosy." Medscape.com. May 9, 2016. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/220455-overview>.

Zhang, F., W. Huang, S. Chen, et al. "Genomewide Association Study of Leprosy." N Engl J Med. 361.27 (2009): 2609-2618.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/12/2016

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