In the search for a cure for leprosy, scientists are deprived of two of the most powerful tools of the experimental laboratory—a method of cultivation of Mycobacterium leprae and a susceptible animal. If the leprosy bacillus could be cultivated on an artificial medium, the bactericidal action of drugs and antibiotics might be determined rapidly, and, if a true prototype of human leprosy could be produced in animals, the effectiveness of drugs might be studied in an even more convincing manner. In the absence of such a direct approach, the most logical leads are to be found in the action of drugs on those pathogenic mycobacteria that can be cultivated and against mycobacterial diseases that are transmissible to laboratory animals. Advantage has been taken, in particular, of information that has been gained in the "screening" of drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and in the treatment of patients with tuberculosis and experimental tuberculosis.
Doull JA. CURRENT STATUS OF THE THERAPY OF LEPROSY. JAMA. 1960;173(4):363-373. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.73020220009009