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Oldest Evidence Of Leprosy Found In India
Science News ^ | Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | Public Library of Science, via EurekAlert!

Posted on 06/14/2009 8:35:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

A biological anthropologist from Appalachian State University working with an undergraduate student from Appalachian, an evolutionary biologist from UNC Greensboro, and a team of archaeologists from Deccan College (Pune, India) recently reported analysis of a 4000-year-old skeleton from India bearing evidence of leprosy. This skeleton represents both the earliest archaeological evidence for human infection with Mycobacterium leprae in the world and the first evidence for the disease in prehistoric India.

The study, published in the journal PLoS One, demonstrates that leprosy was present in human populations in India by the end of the mature phase of the Indus Civilization (2000 B.C.) and provides support for one hypothesis about prehistoric transmission routes for the disease. This finding also supports the hypothesis that the Sanskrit Atharva Veda, composed before the first millennium B.C., is the earliest written reference to the disease and that burial traditions in the second millennium B.C. in one northwestern Indian village bear some resemblance to practices in Hindu tradition today.

As infectious diseases go, leprosy is still one of the least well-understood, in part because the Mycobacterium is difficult to culture for research and it has only one other animal host, the nine banded armadillo. An Indian or African origin for the disease has often been assumed based on historical sources that support an initial spread of the disease from Asia to Europe with Alexander the Great's army after 400 B.C. Skeletal evidence for the disease was previously limited to 300-400 B.C. in Egypt and Thailand.

(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; india; leprosy
Cranium. A) Anterior view demonstrates bilateral erosive lesions at the supraorbital region and glabella, erosion/remodeling of the margin of the nasal aperture, including the anterior nasal spine, bilateral necrosis of the infraorbital region of the maxilla, and resorption of the alveolar region of the maxilla with associated antemortem tooth loss. B) Inferior view of the maxilla demonstrates pathological changes to the palatine process including pitting near the midline and in the alveolar region. (Credit: Robbins et al., DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005669)

Oldest Evidence Of Leprosy Found In India

1 posted on 06/14/2009 8:35:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

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2 posted on 06/14/2009 8:35:47 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: SunkenCiv

Maybe not relevant to the story but a little tidbit I ran across awhile back is that despite the historical quarantining of lepers, leprosy is one of the least contagious of the relatively common diseases, while mumps, the common childhood disease is one of the most.


3 posted on 06/14/2009 8:46:20 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

Ah yes, but the disease described in the Bible doesn’t have the same symptoms as the disease we call leprosy today.


4 posted on 06/14/2009 8:51:58 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 146 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: SunkenCiv
As infectious diseases go, leprosy is still one of the least well-understood, in part because the Mycobacterium is difficult to culture for research and it has only one other animal host, the nine banded armadillo.

Interesting. Chimps, gorillas and orangutans can't be infected?
5 posted on 06/14/2009 8:52:33 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: null and void

Didn’t know that. Interesting factoid.


6 posted on 06/14/2009 8:52:52 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
I'm not a Dr., a microbiologist, nor a primatologist, but I know leprosy is very temperature sensitive, and that armadillos run cold, and I think we do too relative to other primates.

Even so leprosy tends to attack the colder appendages on humans.

7 posted on 06/14/2009 8:59:39 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 146 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: null and void

What was the disease mentioned in the Bible as leprosy?


8 posted on 06/14/2009 9:02:08 PM PDT by Firefigher NC
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To: Firefigher NC

*eerie creepy voice* no one knows...


9 posted on 06/14/2009 9:07:15 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 146 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: Firefigher NC

It seems to be a catch all term for skin diseases and tumors.


10 posted on 06/14/2009 9:24:40 PM PDT by AceMineral (Offically unapproved of since 1973)
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To: AceMineral

You see a lot of leprosy in asian countries, as they are often relegated to begging in the street to survive. There are very characteristic symptoms which include grossly malformed extremities, claw-like hands which are often no more than useless stumps, thick debilitating scar tissue, and open skin lesions. It ain’t psoriasis.


11 posted on 06/14/2009 9:32:13 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

I’ve read about Leprosy a few times.
You seem to know much more about it than me.
Why are there no cases here?


12 posted on 06/14/2009 9:54:04 PM PDT by gigster
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To: gigster

There are. Certain “immigrants” bring a in few cases every year.


13 posted on 06/14/2009 10:01:03 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 146 of our national holiday from reality.)
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To: gigster

I don’t know the answer to your question. It may be a hygiene issue, or perhaps more virulent in certain populations, but I’m just speculating here. Also it may be here as well in which case they would be institutionalized and away from common view.


14 posted on 06/14/2009 10:01:20 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: neverdem

Anthropological Disease Zing! ;)


15 posted on 06/14/2009 10:02:51 PM PDT by BossLady ("WE are the origin of all coming evil" ~~ Carl Jung~~)
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To: BossLady

thanks, bfl


16 posted on 06/14/2009 10:10:20 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: null and void; SpaceBar

It has to be more than basic hygene. There are isolated areas,- think “Deliverance”-where this is true.


17 posted on 06/14/2009 10:25:12 PM PDT by gigster
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To: Mother Abigail; EBH; vetvetdoug; Smokin' Joe; Global2010; Battle Axe; null and void; ...

micro ping


18 posted on 06/14/2009 10:44:53 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: SunkenCiv

Interesting article, but I must confess.

When I read the title, I was wondering what Pelosi was doing in India.


19 posted on 06/15/2009 12:29:49 AM PDT by Gator113 (I live in "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." Imam Obama told me so.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Mycobacterium leprae


20 posted on 06/15/2009 2:58:49 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: null and void

The Exodus description sounds more like a major case of psoriasis. That would be terrifying enough.


21 posted on 06/15/2009 5:10:36 AM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: SpaceBar
Institutionalized and treated. The treatment is simple and not terrible expensive but it takes a few months.
22 posted on 06/15/2009 5:13:49 AM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: JoeProBono

;’) Rosie O’Donnell?


23 posted on 06/15/2009 6:59:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Gator113

:’)


24 posted on 06/15/2009 7:06:17 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: SunkenCiv

Good likeness -huh?


25 posted on 06/15/2009 7:10:09 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

Good question. Dunno. Apparently not, or PETA would be all over this. ;’)


26 posted on 06/15/2009 7:25:53 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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