Mycobacterium leprae is a highly infectious and low pathogenic microorganism that is the causal agent of leprosy. The differences in vulnerability to leprosy, the spectral immune response, and the clinical manifestations of this disease are related to different genetic backgrounds among individuals. In this sense, genetic variants, especially in genes related to mycobacteria recognition and host immune response, may be key factors to explain individual susceptibility and resistance to leprosy and their conditions. In this chapter, studies regarding association of genetic variants in pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and leprosy will be reviewed revealing the importance of molecules such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-containing protein 2 (NOD2) in leprosy initiation and maintenance.
Part of the book: Hansen's Disease