Armadillos Transmitting Leprosy to Humans
Researchers have found that a strain of leprosy found in humans in the southern US is also carried by nine-banded armadillos living in the region. Of the 50 human patients and 33 wild armadillos analyzed, 25 patients and 28 armadillos shared a genetically identical strain of leprosy bacteria. Furthermore, at least 8 of those 25 patients reported contact with armadillos. Though there have been reports of leprosy in humans who have handled, killed, or eaten armadillos or gardened in soil where the animals burrow, experts had been unable to confirm that armadillos could pass the disease to humans until now.
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