The National Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) Laboratory Research Program at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana conducts and supports research in the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of Hansen's disease — aimed at the global elimination of Hansen's disease (leprosy).
The causative agent of leprosy is Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast positive, Gram positive bacterium. M. leprae is non-cultivable on artificial medium and therefore must be grown in animals models.
This Laboratory Research program has led to the development and implementation of many of the newer sophisticated cell and molecular biology tools used today to study human disease. It plays an integral role in the quest for a more complete understanding of Hansen's disease and translation of basic research findings into an internationally coordinated program designed to improve prevention and treatment.
The Laboratory Research Program has unique expertise in the propagation of Mycobacterium leprae and unique resources, including the only colony of M. leprae-infected armadillos in the world.
The Laboratory Research Program comprises investigators from multiple scientific disciplines.