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A possible model for nerve damage in leprosy has been developed in the sciatic nerve of the guinea pig. Intraneural injection of 10(7) BCG organisms into an unsensitized animal induces an epithelioid cell granuloma in 2 weeks similar to that found in tuberculoid leprosy patients. In contrast, intraneural injection of 10(9) cobalt-irradiated Mycobacterium leprae organisms induces a macrophage granuloma in 5 weeks, similar to that found in lepromatous leprosy patients. Histological, immunohistochemical, electron microscopical and electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that the lesions induced in the experimental animals show many of the features documented in studies of nerve damage in leprosy patients.


Journal article


Int J Lepr Other Mycobact Dis

Publication Date





283 - 290


Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Electrophysiology, Female, Granuloma, Guinea Pigs, Immunohistochemistry, Leprosy, Microscopy, Electron, Mycobacterium bovis, Mycobacterium leprae, Peripheral Nervous System Diseases, Sciatic Nerve