Navigation Links
Once-dreaded leprosy 'replaced' by tuberculosis, say researchers

What caused leprosy ?a widely dreaded disease in medieval Europe ?to fade from the scene? By the 16th century, the scourge had practically disappeared there.

The reason seems to be, say researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in London, that tuberculosis, a far more deadly disease, overtook leprosy, killing millions throughout Europe.

Their conclusion is based upon the examination of DNA from human remains from the ancient and medieval periods in Israel and Europe. In these examinations, the scientists found traces of both leprosy and tuberculosis bacteria in 42 percent of the cases.

The findings on the relationship between leprosy and tuberculosis were reported in a recent edition of the British Royal Society Proceedings B by Dr. Mark Spigelman, a visiting professor at the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine and of the University College London; Prof. Charles Greenblatt of the Sanford F. Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine; and Dr. Helen Donoghue of University College London.

The earliest case of co-infection of both leprosy and tuberculosis was found by the researchers in the DNA from a body discovered in a 1st century CE burial cave in Jerusalem. This prompted the investigators to re-examine DNA samples from other ancient sites that they and their colleagues had worked on previously. In doing so, they found leprosy and tuberculosis bacteria in remains from a 4th century CE Egyptian shrine that was known to have been visited by lepers, from a 10th century burial ground in Hungary, and from a Viking-age cemetery in northern Sweden.

The conclusion drawn by the researchers from these multiple signs of co-infection of leprosy and TB bacteria is that those with leprosy, which was seldom fatal, were weakened to the extent that they became highly vulnerable to the "big killer," tuberculosis. This was exacerbated by the lives of deprivation that the lepers were forced to live as social outcasts.

Ultimately, the scientists theorize, so many of the lepers died of tuberculosis until there were too few of them to further spread leprosy. TB, meanwhile, was increasingly on the rise as people in the Middle Ages migrated to urban centers, where crowding and poor sanitary conditions provided a fertile breeding ground for the spread of the killer disease.

Today, tuberculosis, though curable, is still a major, long-term, epidemic disease, with millions of new cases reported around the world each year.


'"/>

Source:The Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Related biology news :

1. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
2. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
3. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
4. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
5. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
6. Disease progression model of pancreatic cancer developed by Penn researchers
7. Natural tumor suppressor in body discovered by UCSD medical researchers
8. New plant DNA libraries provides massive boost to worlds plant researchers
9. Give thanks for the cranberry, say dental researchers
10. Male rivalry increases when females at most fertile, say researchers
11. Successful cell engineering may lead to mad cow prevention, say researchers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), ... a global partnership that will provide end customers ... mobile banking and payment services.      (Logo: ... innovation area for financial services, but it also plays a ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new ... make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction ... timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies ... screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing ... lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits ... the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has ... to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is pleased to ... AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval of the ... Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods perform comparably ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission ... hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab ...
Breaking Biology Technology: