Subversion of Schwann Cells and the Leper's Bell

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Science  03 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5569, pp. 862-863
DOI: 10.1126/science.1072444

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Leprosy has been the scourge of humanity for thousands of years, yet we still know very little about the pathogenesis of this tragic disease. In his Perspective, Brophy explains exciting new findings ( Rambukkana et al.) that reveal how the bacterium causing this disease, M. leprae, instigates demyelination of peripheral nerves without the help of the immune system, and subverts the attempts of myelinating Schwann cells to repair the damage.