Skip to comments.Armadillos pass leprosy to humans, study finds
Posted on 04/27/2011 6:52:24 PM PDT by jazusamo
They're cute. They're often roadkill. Some gourmands say they're tasty, whether baked or barbecued.
Now Louisiana researchers have learned something else about nine-banded armadillos.
"A preponderance of evidence shows that people get leprosy from these animals," said Richard W. Truman, director of microbiology at the National Hansen's Disease Program in Baton Rouge and lead author of a paper detailing the discovery in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Until now, scientists believed that leprosy was passed only from human to human. Every year, about 100 to 150 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with the malady, which is also known as Hansen's disease. Though many have traveled to countries where the disease is relatively common, as many as a third don't know where they picked it up.
Most of those cases are in Texas and Louisiana, where leprosy-infected armadillos live too.
Now, Truman said, "we're able to provide a link."
Leprosy is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, a cousin of the microbe that causes tuberculosis. People with leprosy develop skin lesions; severe cases can cause nerve damage or disfigurement in the limbs.
Over the years, M. leprae has proven hard to study, its migration around the globe hard to plot, for a variety of reasons. The bacterium can't be grown in a lab dish. Leprosy has a years-long incubation period and propagates slowly. It is hard to contract only 5% of humans are susceptible, and even they usually need to have close and repeated contact with M. leprae to develop an infection.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Somehow I knew that growing up in the 50s in Texas. So I don’t think its really a new discovery.
Learned something? I heard this 10 years ago.
I wear a condom.
I had never heard this but when in TX I was a little surprised at the number of armadillo road kills.
Does the armadillo also?
Is this article a reprint from the 1950’s? This was discovered decades ago.
That's due to an unfortunate reflex armadillos have. When startled they jump, so when a car passes over...
LOL! I guess the southerners do too, they’ve known about this for decades. :)
Should we ask why you need a condom when dealing with an armadillo?
Leprosy is often mentioned in the Bible. I never realized that there were armadillos in ancient Palestine.
Who is the "them" that the southerners are sleeping with? The CIA? The Texans? or the Armadillos?
No armadillos over there, just nine-banded Babylonians.
I think the two-faced liberadillo is more likely to pass along a deadly disease.
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