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The earliest recorded case of lepromatous leprosy in continental Croatia

Bedić, Ž; Šlaus, M; Donoghue, HD; (2019) The earliest recorded case of lepromatous leprosy in continental Croatia. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports , 25 pp. 47-55. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.03.030. Green open access

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Abstract

Among 89 skulls from the Bijelo Brdo site in mainland Croatia dated between the 10th and 11th centuries, two show osteological features characteristic for lepromatous leprosy. Both skulls were female. The older, estimated between 30 to 40 years age-at-death exhibits inflammatory changes on the palatine process and on the alveolar process of the maxilla, on the inferior nasal conhae and the nasal septum, as well as on the anterior nasal spine. The younger, aged between 15 to 17 years at time of death exhibits less pronounced changes on the inferior nasal conhae, and on the anterior nasal spine. Differential diagnosis excluded fungal infections (aspergillosis, mucormycosis), bacterial infections (actinomycosis, tuberculosis), and granulomatous disorders (sarcoidosis, and treponemal diseases). Molecular genetic analysis targeting the repetitive elements RLEP (36 copies/cell) and RepLep (15 copies/cell) of the M. leprae genome confirmed the presence of the disease in the older individual. The possible geography of the spread of this infectious disease in Croatia is discussed.

Type: Article
Title: The earliest recorded case of lepromatous leprosy in continental Croatia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.03.030
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.03.030
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: leprosy, Bijelo Brdo, Medieval period, Croatia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076471
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