Skip to comments.Abandoned Bones Suggest TB Wiped Out Leprosy In Battle Of Killer Diseases
Posted on 12/23/2009 8:01:21 PM PST by SunkenCiv
The spread of tuberculosis may have killed off leprosy in Europe in the Middle Ages, according to research published in the latest issue of the Royal Society Proceedings B. A collaborative study led by University College London (UCL) scientists, following the discovery of a shrouded body in a sealed chamber overlooked by tomb robbers, found evidence of both diseases in a range of archaeological remains dating from the 1st to the 15th centuries. An initial examination of the body, currently under analysis in Israel, revealed signs of co-infection of TB and leprosy in the bone tissue. The collaborative team, led by Dr Helen Donoghue and Dr Mark Spigelman from UCL's Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health, went on to identify co-infection in ancient bones around Europe, where the DNA of the bacteria behind both diseases was detected in 42 per cent of the samples examined.
In the Middle Ages leprosy was a widespread, much-feared disease which unaccountably declined around the same time that tuberculosis began to spread across Europe. TB went on to become a major long-term epidemic disease, with one-third of the world's population now infected and more than 8 million new cases in the year 2000 alone.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
This story is from 2005, and frankly I'm a bit surprised that it hadn't been posted, but I couldn't find it.
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Bones Raise Leprosy Doubts (Scotland)
BBC | 11-05-2002
Posted on 11/06/2002 6:58:11 PM PST by blam
Full Text (PDF)Free
Are we to assume that ‘Leprosy’ means Hanson’s?
The Leprosy described in ancient writings doesn’t seem to match up with Present Leprosy.
“TB wiped out Leprosy...”
Paper covers Rock, Rock breaks scissors, and scissors cut paper. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
They mention Mycobacterium leprae which is the causative organism for Hansen's. I'm not sure I agree that leprosy described in ancient writings is not what we see today. If you read Leviticus 13, it gives the Temple priest instructions on how to distinguish clean from unclean skin lesions:
13:3 "And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh; and when the hair in the plague has turned white and the plague in appearance be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy; and the priest shall look on him and pronounce him unclean."
Sure sounds like tuberculoid leprosy to me: