|Description:||This image depicts the ventral surface of the right hand of a patient with a case of lepromatous leprosy, which under the newer World Health Organization (WHO) standards, is classified as multibacillary (MB), leprosy. At this late stage of the illness, the digits have almost been fully resorbed, except for the index finger, and the proximal remnant of the thumb. There is also a granulomatous inflammatory lesion located on the palmar surface. This illness is caused by the bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae.|
MB leprosy is characterized by generalized, or diffuse involvement of the skin. Under microscopic examination, one will find a thickening of the peripheral nerves. This condition has the potential to involve other organs including the eyes, nose, testes, and bone. Ulcerated nodules release large numbers of M. leprae bacteria.