Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 219-221

Chronicles of Gerhard-Henrik Armauer Hansen's life and work

1 Department of Skin and VD, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India
2 Department of General Medicine, PGIMS, Rohtak, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Sangita Ghosh
42/136, New Ballygunge Road, Kolkata, West Bengal - 700 039
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.156310

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Gerhard-Henrik Armauer Hansen, a Norwegian scientist, discovered Mycobacterium leprae as the causative organism for leprosy, defying the hereditary affliction theory of the disease. He was born in Bergen, Norway in 1841 in a Danish family. After acquiring his medical degree in 1866 from the University of Oslo, he joined as an assistant physician in a leprosy hospital in Bergen. In 1873, he published his report claiming leprosy to be an infectious disease with a description of the infectious material in leprous tissue. His conviction of belief and an unstinted devotion to a lifetime of scientific research changed the way leprosy was approached as a disease. It was the fruit of his untiring work that the amended act of 1885 was passed, which resulted in steady decline in leprosy burden in Norway. In February 1912 he breathed his last, leaving behind an inspirational story of a brave heart scientist who fought all odds to unveil the truth for the benefit of mankind.

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