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New insights into how leprosy infection spreads could pave the way for early intervention

Leprosy is a bacterial disease that spreads to muscles and other tissues in the body, causing neurodegeneration and muscle weakness. A new study, published by Cell Press January 17th in the journal Cell, reveals that the bacteria responsible for leprosy spread infection by hijacking specialized cells in the adult nervous system, reprogramming them into a stem cell-like state, and converting them to muscle-like cells. These findings could lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for combating bacterial infections and degenerative diseases as well as new tools for regenerative medicine.

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