Mycobacterium leprae

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Mycobacterium leprae
Microphotograph of Mycobacterium leprae taken from a skin lesion. Source: CDC
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Actinobacteria
Order: Actinomycetales
Suborder: Corynebacterineae
Family: Mycobacteriaceae
Genus: Mycobacterium
Species: M. leprae
Binomial name
Mycobacterium leprae
Hansen, 1874

Mycobacterium leprae is a bacteria. It is causes the disease, leprosy, also known as Hanson's Disease. The bacterium was discovered in 1873 by a Norwegian doctor named Gerhard Armauer Hansen. M. leprae is a gram-positive, aerobic rod surrounded by the characteristic waxy coating unique to Mycobacteria. In size and shape, it closes resembles M. tuberculosis. Due to its thick, waxy coating, stains with carbol-fuchsin are used, rather than with the traditional Gram staining method.