Researchers Unveil How Leprosy Bacteria Follow 'Biological Trickery’

Researchers Unveil How Leprosy Bacteria Follow 'Biological Trickery’A recent research has managed to reveal how leprosy-causing bacteria transform nerves into stem cells and muscle. It has been published in the journal `Cell' that the disease employs part of biological trickery in order to do its damage.

The research by a team at the University of Edinburgh showed how the bacteria reprograms certain nerve cells to make them turn like stem cells and further pushes them to enter the body's muscle and nervous systems.

This is perhaps for the first time that such process has come into picture, and it therefore raises hope that a lot more would be able to do in terms of development of new treatments for leprosy and other neurodegenerative diseases.

With over 200,000 people worldwide getting affected with the same, it had become all the more urgent to find as much as possible about the disease, which so far had been a mystery for the medical community.

Though it is known that the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae is the major cause, it has not been able to understand as to how the infection spreads throughout the body and even its impact on the nerves is a puzzle. Since the bacterium that causes leprosy can't be reproduced in a lab, it becomes next to impossible to research on humans and that's why it is studied in infected humans, armadillos, and genetically engineered mice.