International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr Erik Waaler

    Status Medical Researcher
    Country Norway


    Erik Waaler (1903-1997) is best known for his discovery of the rheumatoid factor in 1939, and the Waaler-Rose test, which is used in serological diagnostic work world-wide. He was head of the Department of Pathology at the Gade Institute in Bergen from 1941 until his retirement in 1971. Whilst holding this post, he published several papers on leprosy. In 1948 he was also appointed chairman of the Department of Pathology, Pathological Anatomy and Forensic Medicine at the University of Bergen. In August, 1973, he Chaired the Organizing Committee of the 10th International Leprosy Congress in Bergen, which was held in honor of the centenary of Hansen's discovery of the leprosy bacillus. In his later years Waaler concentrated mainly on the immunology and morphology of the collagen diseases. He was a member of many medical societies in Norway. In 1959 he was appointed Knight of the First Class of the Royal Saint Olav's Order and in 1964 he received the Fridtjof Nansen scientific prize.

    International Journal of Leprosy, Centennial Festskrift edition, Vol 41, No 2. 1973.


    • "Leprosy and cancer" Int J Lepr, 22.2 (1954):200-4.
    • "The isopathic reaction in leprosy" Int J Lepr, 25.3 (1957):207-12.
    • Waaler E, Tonder O, Godal T, Milde EJ, Sagher F, Sheskin J. "Anti-globulin activity in leprous lesions", Int J Lepr Other Mycobact Dis, 39.2 (1971):529-40.

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