Definition of leprosy bacillus in US English:

leprosy bacillus

noun

  • 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.

Origin

Late 19th century; earliest use found in Medical Times and Gazette. After German Lepra-bacillus.