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"Leprosy victim buried 900 years ago offers ..." Topic


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368 hits since 19 Jun 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 11:35 a.m. PST

… insights into how the disease spread through medieval Europe

"Leprosy is a bacterial infection caused by Mycobacterium leprae or Mycobacterium lepromatosis. It has afflicted humans for thousands of years, reaching epidemic levels during the Middle Ages, and people continue to be affected by the disease today. However, the genetic origins of the disease are not well understood

In a multidisciplinary study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, researchers investigated the strain of leprosy found in a leprosy hospital cemetery in the English town of Winchester. A multidisciplinary team of researchers performed extensive tests on a skeleton excavated from the cemetery, using genotyping, radiocarbon dating, biomolecular analysis, osteology, strontium, and oxygen isotopic analyses and archaeological methods.

Simon Roffey and Katie Tucker of the University of Winchester, and Michael Taylor of the University of Surrey, and colleagues, found that the M. leprae genome has not significantly changed since the disease peaked in Medieval Europe, which might explain a decline in disease transmission as resistance may have developed. Radiocarbon dating indicated that the remains were buried during the late 11th- early 12th century. Scientists surmised that the individual was a religious pilgrim of means, likely of mostly non-UK heritage. In addition to the single skeleton analysed in great detail, the research team found 86% of all remains sampled at the burial site to show skeletal lesions indicative of leprosy…"
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Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 12:39 p.m. PST

Hmm. I wonder how much it has mutated during that time, and if the old bacteria could remain dormant in the remains and then be reawakened today.

Dan
PS. It's typically the first question asked (and ignored) when diseased remains are exhumed:
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LostPict Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2017 2:11 a.m. PST

Curse of the Mummy…

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2017 5:37 a.m. PST

My thoughts exactly! :)

Dan

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2017 11:16 a.m. PST

(smile)


Amicalement
Armand

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