Re: Leprosy

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Date:Wed, 18 Aug 1999 23:56:17 EDT
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Janet Tunnicliffe at Surrey Memorial Hospital in British Columbia has tsuris 
or rather wants some:

>>I need to get some Leprosy ( Wade Fite  positive) control material. I would 
prefer human tissue, however I have it on very good authority that the nine 
banded armadillos (Road kill) are infected with  this mycobacterium.<<

The common (and spreading) nine banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) is 
indeed often naturally infected with Mycobacterium leprae in Louisiana, 
though not usually elsewhere in its range. According to a study published 
maybe 20 years ago, only 2 to 5% of Louisiana road kill 'dillos are infected. 

Experimental infection is also easily accomplished, and tissue presumably is 
available from researchers, since the liver contains enormous numbers of 

You are absolutely right in wanting a separate Mycobacterium leprae control 
when performing one of the specialized acid fast (Fite) techniques for this 
organism. These techniques differ in their decolorization procedure. 
Fluorescent dyes (auramine O) have been used also.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist

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