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Dr. J. M. Gomes, who recently lectured before the Sociedade de Biologia of São Paulo, stated that persons, especially children, who live in contact with lepers become infected by the leprosy bacillus, which lodges in the deepest tissues, thus causing a form of latent leprosy. The separation of these persons from infected foci, the earlier the better, results in the diminution of the virulence of the bacillus until its complete disappearance in some cases in which leprosy never develops. However, in another group, less fortunate than the former, the virulence of the bacillus increases and the latent disease sooner or latter makes its appearance either in a masked or in a manifest form. In all cases in which a deviation of the complement took place, the author had observed some years previously certain manifestations which indicated the presence of B. leprae, in the nasal mucus, in the lymphatic
RIO DE JANEIRO. JAMA. 1931;97(10):719. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730100043022
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