One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The causative agent of leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, which is an acid-fast rod-shaped bacterium which cannot be cultured in vitro but can be grown in a few animals, especially the nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus; also called Hansen's bacillus.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Medical Times and Gazette. After German Lepra-bacillus.
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