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Year : 1993  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 159-163

Leprosy Bacillus - A Soil Chemoautotroph Which Had Evolved As A Human Pathogen

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G Dastidar Sujata

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A correlation has been found to exist between the prevalence of leprosy and distribution of fossil fuels (FF) and their surface soil seepages at global, regional as well as individual country levels. This could be accounted for by the occurrence of FF metabolizing soil bacteria which were indistinguishable from those isolated from human leprosy cases. The factors which appeared to determine the final outcome of the endemicity of leprosy could be: a man-to-man, and soil-to-man infections. These, in turn, seemed to depend on overcrowding, consanguinity and clustering of populations, quality of living standards and hygiene, and mode of tilling of lands, assessed on the basis of comprehensive information. The origin of leprosy in the world, as well as, that of indigenous leprosy cases in the leprosy-free countries like USA and Russia, can be considered to be due to a soil-to-man infection. The possibility of indigenous origin of leprosy in different FF rich countries of the New World, independent of being imported form outside, explains the numerous findings of leprosy-like faces and figures in various paintings, and engravings on metals and stones, and pottery works etc. in the pre-Columbian Maya and Inca civilisations and the Aztec empire in the Americas. These had been accurately recorded by early Jesuit missionaries as frequent occurrences of florid leprosy among the Mayan and Incan Indians who must have had this infection long before the Columbian era.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

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