Scientists first discovered leprosy in wild chimpanzees, and the symptoms are similar to those of infected people.
A team of researchers recently discovered leprosy-infected chimpanzees in unconnected populations of Guinea-Bissau and Côte d’Ivoire in two West African countries.Facial lesions in some animals looked like advanced human facial lesions LeprosyGenetic analysis of chimpanzee fecal samples confirmed that both groups of animals were carrying Mycobacterium leprae, Bacteria that cause illnesses that spoil the appearance, according to new research.
These cases were not only first detected in the wild Chimpanzee (((Chimpanzee verus) —Leprosy in captive chimpanzees has been previously reported — these are the first known cases of non-human leprosy in Africa.
Related: Six Strange Facts About Leprosy
Prior to this study, “nothing was known about wild primate epilepsy,” said Kimberley Hockings, senior research author and senior researcher in conservation science at the University of Exeter’s Center for Ecology and Conservation in the United Kingdom. Said.
“A report of captive primates suffering from leprosy, including chimpanzees, has been published,” Hockings told Live Science in an email. “But the source of the infection was unknown because he may have leprosy in captivity.”
Leprosy, also known as leprosy, is an infectious disease that primarily affects humans and is caused by bacteria. Mycobacterium leprae, What scientists identified in the late 19th century, and M. repromatosis, Discovered in 2008, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).. Bacteria pass between people in droplets from the nose and mouth during close and frequent contact. According to the World Health Organization (Who).
Symptoms of leprosy that affect the skin include discolored spots, lesions, ulcers, and swelling.Other symptoms Nervous systemCauses numbness, vision problems, weakness or temporary paralysis, CDC says.. Severe untreated cases in humans can lead to blindness, permanent paralysis, facial deformities, shortening of the fingers and toes, but the disease is curable and early treatment is impaired. Can be prevented.
According to the WHO, the bacteria that cause leprosy grow slowly and are cultivated in infected individuals for an average of about 5 years, but symptoms can occur within a year or take more than 20 years. There is also.
Humans are the main host of bacteria, but Dasypus (Cingulata)Dasypus novemcinctus) Americas and Red Squirrel (squirrel) In the UK, it is known to cause leprosy. Bacteria..It’s unclear how the chimpanzees encountered Mycobacterium leprae, New findings suggest that strains of this bacterium may be more widely circulated among wildlife than previously thought, researchers said in the journal October 13 Reported to Nature..
Severe lesions, growth and “ulnar claw”
Scientists have examined two wild chimpanzee populations, Guinea-Bissau’s Kantanjes National Park (CNP) and Cote d’Ivoire’s Thai National Park (TNP). Camera trap footage of CNP chimpanzees recorded from 2015 to 2019 captured 241 images of chimpanzees showing “severe leprosy-like lesions” and facial, trunk, and genital growth. Studies have shown that affected chimpanzees also showed hair loss, facial deformities, excessive nail growth, and deformed fingers called “nail hands,” which are another hallmark of leprosy.They discovered when scientists analyzed fresh fecal samples DNA Evidence suggesting that chimpanzees have been infected Mycobacterium leprae.
“We were able to confirm surprisingly Mycobacterium leprae With several samples from two female chimpanzees (probably mother and daughter), one of those samples was sufficient to perform a whole-genome sequence, “Hockings said.
Côte d’Ivoire chimpanzees, unlike Guinea-Bissau chimpanzees, have adapted to wild-tracking and observing researchers. In 2018, biologists noticed that one of the animals, an adult male named Woodstock, had leprosy-like lesions on his face. It became bigger and more in the next two years. Fecal sampling and DNA analysis reveal again the presence of Mycobacterium leprae, similar to the necrosis of a female chimpanzee named Zora, who was killed by a leopard in 2009 but began to develop lesions about two years before her death. became.
Genetic data Mycobacterium leprae The impact on the populations of the two chimpanzees was different. Studies have shown that both are rare strains, rare not only in humans but also in reservoirs of other animals.
Leprosy is one of the oldest known diseases associated with humans. The earliest known cases were found in the human skeleton about 4,000 years ago. Live science previously reported.. As a result, its effects on infected people have been studied and recorded for centuries. By comparison, little is known about how chimpanzees are exposed to bacteria, how the disease is transmitted between individuals, and how long infected chimpanzees can survive. Hockings said.
“We’re just scratching the surface of leprosy’s presence and infection in wildlife,” Hockings told Live Science. “I think it’s much more popular than we thought it would be.”
Originally published in Live Science.