International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr Ruy Noronha Miranda

    Status Physician
    Country Brazil


    Dr R N Miranda was born July 29, 1914 in Porto Alegre, in the province of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He graduated in 1938 from the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR). Dr Miranda became interested in leprology in 1935, whilst studying medicine. From 1940 to 1946 Dr Miranda was the director of the São Roque Leprosarium, in the state of Paraná, Brazil. He also authored a book Manifestações Agudas da Lepra (Acute Manifestations in Leprosy), published in 1943, in which he described the process of phagocytosis and destruction of Mycobacterium leprae by polymorphonuclear leucocytes. In 1947 he became a Professor of Dermatology at the UFPR.

    Dr Miranda focused his efforts on studying Hansen’s disease, with an emphasis on teaching, medical assistance and research. In 1960 Dr Miranda founded the Centre for Leprological Studies Souza Aratijo at the UFPR in order to facilitate his studies, and, in 1990, further founded the Pro-Hansen Foundation in Curitiba. Dr Miranda has been a member of the International Leprosy Association since 1963.

    Dr Miranda made a number of significant contributions to leprosy research, including the synthesis of “ortho-mono-iodo-diamino-difenilsulfona” for leprosy treatment, and communicating the cure of tuberculoid leprosy, based on biopsy results.

    He was directly involved in establishing the “Museu Leprológico” (Leprologicum Museum) at the UFPR and in 1968, he received the National Award of Leprology, for his innovative work on the Mitsuda reaction.

    Treatment Used/Researched:


    Over 200 books and scientific papers, including:

    An Introduction to Leprosy in Dentistry, textbook, 1973.

    ‘Growth of mycobactera in human plasma’, An Bras Dermatol, 1989.

    Results of intradermic inoculation of a suspension of cultivated mycobacteria in humans”, An Bras Dermatol, 1991.

    ‘Development of an antigenic preparation Mitsuda-like and its evaluation in multibacillary patients Mitsuda-negative’, An Bras Dermatol, 2005.

    Manifestações Agudas da Lepra (Acute Manifestations in Leprosy), 1943.

    Dr Miranda was also the founder and long-term editor of the Publicações do Centro de Estudos Leprológicos (Publications of the Centre for Leprological Studies).


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