Leprosy

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Image Source: tsuru-bird.net

The low body temperature of armadillos is thought to contribute to their susceptibility to infection with the bacteria responsible for causing leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae. In fact, armadillos were intentionally inoculated with the bacteria in the 1960’s to allow researchers to learn more about this disease and to develop treatments. In 1975, researchers discovered wild armadillos with leprosy but transmission of the disease to humans was considered unlikely. That may be changing…

Thanks to gene typing technology, researchers have found that the genotype of the bacteria infecting humans was identical to the strain infecting armadillos in the same region of the United States. This means that the bacteria might be transmitted between animals and humans.

I used to think a pet armadillo was a pretty neat idea. After reading this study, I think I will stick to cats and dogs for pets. In fact, I have always wanted a goldfish.

Sources:

National Institutes of Health Office of Science Education

Truman RW, Singh P, Sharma R, Busso P, Rougemont J, Paniz-Mondolfi A, Kapopoulou A, Brisse S, Scollard DM, Gillis TP, Cole ST. Probable zoonotic leprosy in the southern United States. N Engl J Med. 2011 Apr 28;364(17):1626-33.

Comments

  1. #1 Karen
    May 17, 2011

    Stick to dogs and cats. The fish always eventually end up floating belly-up in the tank for no apparent reason, or get some nasty fungal disease that kills them even after you’ve dosed the tank with expensive medicine for two weeks.

    Karen, former fish owner and currently owned by cats

  2. #2 Rob W
    May 17, 2011

    Stick to dogs. Cats will give you toxoplasmosis, which may induce a strange metamorphosis of your personality and psychological health.

  3. #3 Anne C. Hanna
    May 18, 2011

    Stick to cats. Dogs smell bad and are slobbery and noisy.

  4. #4 Drivebyposter
    May 19, 2011

    Stick to tarantulas. They don’t make any noise, you don’t have to do much to maintain them, and watching them eat is pretty entertaining.

  5. #5 Tenebras
    May 19, 2011

    You’re more likely to get toxoplasmosis from eating undercooked meat than you are to get it from your cat. If you’re going to swear off owning a cat on the off-chance of getting toxoplasmosis, you might as well live in a bubble and never come into contact with anything.

    Also, dogs AND cats can give you Leptospirosis, ringworm, ticks (with their Lyme Disease), fleas, and all kinds of other nasties, just like any other living thing that you come into physical contact with. :P

  6. #6 Luna_the_cat
    May 22, 2011

    Stick to gerbils.

  7. #7 Isis the Scientist
    May 23, 2011

    Or a hamster. Hamsters are lovely.

  8. #8 ALeyram
    May 31, 2011

    Sizin, elinizdeki kedi onu almak için olduğundan daha az pişmiş et yeme toksoplazma almak olasıdır. Eğer toksoplazma getting off-şans bir kedi sahibi tövbe etmek gidiyoruz, sen de ve bir balonun içinde yaşamak belki hiç bir şey ile temas.

  9. #9 ALeyram
    June 1, 2011

    Sizin, elinizdeki kedi onu almak için olduğundan daha az pişmiş et yeme toksoplazma almak olasıdır. Eğer toksoplazma getting off-şans bir kedi sahibi tövbe etmek gidiyoruz, sen de ve bir balonun içinde yaşamak belki hiç bir şey ile temas.

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