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Tuberculosis Treatment

Tuberculosis Treatment History

Scientific work investigating the evolutionary origins of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex has concluded that the most recent common ancestor of the complex was a human-specific pathogen, which underwent a population bottleneck. Analysis of mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units has allowed dating of the bottleneck to approximately 40,000 years ago, which corresponds to the period subsequent to the expansion of Homo sapiens sapiens out of Africa. This analysis of mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units also dated the Mycobacterium bovis lineage as dispersing approximately 6,000 years ago, which may be linked to animal domestication and early farming. [3]
Human bones from the Neolithic show a presence of the bacteria. There have also been a claim of evidence of lesions characteristic of tuberculosis in a 500,000 years old Homo erectus fossile, although this finding is controversial. [4]
Results of a genome study reported in 2014 suggest that tuberculosis is newer than previously thought. Scientists were able to recreate the genome of the bacteria from remains of 1,000-year-old skeletons in southern Peru. In dating the DNA, they found it was less than 6,000 years old. They also found it related most closely to a tuberculosis strain in seals, and have theorized that these animals were the mode of transmission from Africa to South America. [1] The team from University of Tubingen believe that humans acquired the disease in Africa about 5,000 years ago. [1] Their domesticated animals, such as goats and cows, contracted it from them. Seals acquired it when coming up on African beaches for breeding, and carried it across the Atlantic. In addition, TB spread via humans on the trade routes of the Old World. Other researchers have argued there is other evidence that suggests the tuberculosis bacteria is older than 6,000 years. [1] This TB strain found in Peru is different from that prevalent today in the Americas, which is more closely related to a later Eurasian strain likely brought by European colonists. [5] However, this result is criticised by other experts from the field, [1] for instance because there is evidence of the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 9000 year old skeletal remains. [2]

Tuberculosis Treatment

Although relatively little is known about its frequency before the 19th century, its incidence is thought to have peaked between the end of the 18th century and the end of the 19th century. Over time, the various cultures of the world gave the illness different names: phthisis (Greek), consumptione (Latin), yaksma (India), and chaky oncay (Incan), each of which make reference to the “drying” or “consuming” affect of the illness, cachexia.

In the 19th century, TB’s high mortality rate among young and middle-aged adults and the surge of Romanticism, which stressed feeling over reason, caused many to refer to the disease as the “romantic disease”.

Tuberculosis Treatment