Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, characterized by a very long incubation period, confounding signs and symptoms and difficulty to establish the onset time. Considering the stigma associated with the diagnosis and the difficulties in detecting asymptomatic leprosy, the incidence and prevalence of this disease are underestimated. In Italy, leprosy is currently included among the rare diseases and can occur as an imported pathology in native individuals or extra-EU immigrants. Currently, given its exceptional appearance in Italy, leprosy is extremely difficult to recognize. In fact, the incomplete knowledge by the medical class of geographical epidemiology and aetiology of tropical diseases including leprosy, often delays the definitive diagnosis. Due to the increasing rate of the migration flows, in Italy and in Europe, leprosy should be considered among the differential diagnosis in patients with cutaneous and neurological signs, especially when originating from endemic countries.

A Case of Leprosy in Italy: A Multifaceted Disease Which Continues to Challenge Medical Doctors

MARITATI, Martina
Co-primo
;
CONTINI, Carlo
Co-primo
2016

Abstract

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, characterized by a very long incubation period, confounding signs and symptoms and difficulty to establish the onset time. Considering the stigma associated with the diagnosis and the difficulties in detecting asymptomatic leprosy, the incidence and prevalence of this disease are underestimated. In Italy, leprosy is currently included among the rare diseases and can occur as an imported pathology in native individuals or extra-EU immigrants. Currently, given its exceptional appearance in Italy, leprosy is extremely difficult to recognize. In fact, the incomplete knowledge by the medical class of geographical epidemiology and aetiology of tropical diseases including leprosy, often delays the definitive diagnosis. Due to the increasing rate of the migration flows, in Italy and in Europe, leprosy should be considered among the differential diagnosis in patients with cutaneous and neurological signs, especially when originating from endemic countries.
Maritati, Martina; Contini, Carlo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2327112
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