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Humans spread leprosy to armadillos-now they are returning leprosy to us

Armadillo in the Florida Everglades. Leprosy is an ancient disease. It is the oldest disease known to be related to humans. The evidence can be traced back to the discovery of typical bone erosions and deformities in Indian cemeteries in 2000 BC. Therefore, many people think that this is a natural disease that is a relic of the past. My research in 201

8 in Brazil where this disease is prevalent shows that leprosy is much closer than we thought. The disease is spreading in armadillos. Although these animals are not exactly the cute types that attract humans, contact between armadillos and humans is spreading. And, when the species do interact, the armadillo is returning leprosy to humans. Animals with poor vision are a more serious disease of leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease. It is caused by Mycobacterium leprosy infection, which causes skin damage, nerve damage, disfigurement and disability, and causes people with this disease to suffer from social pollution. Naming. It is mainly spread from person to person through aerosol infection or coughing and sneezing. Usually, infection requires close contact with an untreated infected person. As long as three to seven years after infection, symptoms develop slowly. It is rare in the United States. In the past 10 years, an average of less than 200 cases have been diagnosed each year, most of which have been immigrants from foreign countries where the disease is prevalent. It is mainly found in tropical countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and other countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. In 2016, there were 214,783 new cases worldwide. A severe case of leprosy in a one-year-old child in Brazil, with many lesions. CC BY-SA Claudio Salgado (Claudio Salgado), although leprosy drugs are cheap and free for anyone diagnosed with leprosy, in the past few decades , The high-incidence population in dozens of countries did not make this number drop too much. The root cause of the persistently high prevalence rate remains poverty, poor sanitation and malnutrition, and lack of medical services to treat those who are diagnosed before nerve damage and disability occur. Enter the armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus, commonly known as the nine-banded armadillo in the United States, and the chicken armadillo in Brazil, which is the only species distributed in North, Central and South America. These armadillos first expanded from Mexico to Texas in the 1850s, and then went north and east into the Gulf states of the southern United States. In the late 1940s, another group of armadillos escaped from central Florida and spread throughout Florida, eventually merging with Mexico. Texas armadillo in Panhandle, Florida in the early 1970s. Around this time, Dr. Eleanor Storrs discovered that armadillos experimentally infected with Mycobacterium leprae will eventually develop symptoms of leprosy, even in human cases with the same skin and nerve damage. Soon thereafter, she and her team discovered that armadillos living in the wild in Texas and Louisiana were naturally infected with leprosy bacteria. Analysis of bacteria-specific antibodies in archived serum samples indicated that animals in the area have likely been infected since the 1960s. Exactly how armadillos were infected by humans is unclear, but one theory is that they picked them up from contaminated soil by digging. A survey of armadillos in Gulf states found that up to 20% of people were infected with Mycobacterium leprae. In the beginning, the armadillo’s susceptibility to leprosy promoted the development of science and medicine. Because they are the only animals other than humans that can isolate bacteria, armadillos enable scientists to study leprosy and possible treatments. Today, there are millions of armadillos in the southern United States, and people interact with them in various ways. Animal leather carapace is made into wallets and boots. Some are kept at home as pets or taken to zoos, children’s schools and county fairs to entertain people in armadillo competitions. In some areas, people chase them to barbecue. All these exposures will eventually have consequences. In 2011, Dr. Richard Truman from the National Hansen’s Disease Program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, published a study showing that the strains that infect most armadillos and leprosy patients in Texas and Louisiana are the same, indicating The disease is a zoonotic infection that is transmitted to humans. In 2015, another study by the same group found that another strain that exists only in central Florida caused a second batch of cases in armadillos and humans. Both reports have caused widespread media coverage, and people are a little surprised and shocked by this, because this clumsy rather than cute animal is spreading the oldest and most frightening disease to humans. However, once the excitement disappears, most people may resume their behavior towards these animals, ignoring the risks that may be involved. What happened, what happened: in Brazil too, two things stand out about Brazil. The armadillo is native to South America. Leprosy was first brought to Brazil by European explorers 500 years ago through the slave trade in West Africa, and it has a history of hundreds of years. Knowing this, our research team wanted to know how many people in Brazil had contact with armadillos, and whether this might lead to the spread of leprosy in these animals, as shown in the southern United States. In 2017, a man in Ecuador was preparing an armadillo for lunch. Fotos593 / Shutterstock Our research focuses on people living in the western rural area of ​​Para, Amazonas, Brazil. People living there often consume armadillos as a source of protein. People in this town interact a lot with armadillos: 19% of them hunt animals in the forest every year, and 65% of them clean meat to cook or eat armadillos. The percentage of people who have a positive antibody reaction to the bacteria (63% of people are positive and the area is normal) indicates that most people have been infected with the bacillus leprosy. Surprisingly, 62% of armadillos killed by hunters showed signs of leprosy infection, which is three times the rate in Texas and Louisiana. Most importantly, a group of 27 individuals who ate armadillo meat had 50% higher antibody levels than other populations, indicating that increased consumption almost doubled the risk of disease. The study concluded that leprosy, similar to the southern states of the United States, was spread from armadillos to the Brazilian people. The broader information about this work is that wild animals carry various diseases that can be transmitted to humans, especially when they may come in contact with blood or eat meat. Although leprosy is still a disease that few people worry about in the United States, people should be cautious about how they interact with armadillos. This article is republished from The Conversation, a non-profit news site dedicated to sharing the ideas of academic experts. Read more: Want to end tuberculosis? Diagnosis and treatment of all forms of disease. The study of African camels is the key to learning more about the MERS virus. William Fulbright (William Fulbright) Brazil Scholar Award 2015-2016.


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