Re: diseases and immunity (TB addendum)

Mary Beth Williams (
10 Jul 1996 01:29:39 GMT

In <4ruo1k$> (Gerold Firl)
>In article <4rug8v$>, Beth Williams) writes:
>|> In <4ru3hs$> (Gerold Firl)
>|> writes:
>|> >Mcneill does mention something like this, discussing a group of
>|> >"canadian indians" on their first exposure to TB. He doesn't say
>|> >it happened; I assumed 19th century. He does say that at first
>|> >exposure, the infection looked totally unlike TB; not only were
>|> >internal organs attacked, but also the spinal meninges. By the
>|> >generation, the infection settled down into the familiar pulmonary
>|> >pattern.
>|> As a fizzy note, the claim that an attack on the spine (vertebral
>|> tuberculosis) is found only in American Indian populations is
>|> completely erroneous. As Ortner and Putschar note, *Vertebral
>|> tuberculosis is, is practically all of the clinical and autopsy
>|> the most common and characteristic lesion.* (p. 145) This is true
>|> all ethnicities, not only Native Americans.
>Sorry, the my statement should not be interpreted as a claim that only
>indians suffered vertebral lesions due to TB. Mcneill stated that
>symptoms of tubercular *meningitis* were observed.

So that I don't erroneously accuse MacNeill of making inappropriate
assertions, could you please provide a more detailed citation
(including page number.) It seems, once again, that you're claiming
that either autopsies were performed on these *Canadian Indians* in
*remote regions* during the 19th century, or that tubercular
*meningitis* (an infection of the *meniges*, which do not make the
transition from *wet* to *dry* intact) is visible in the skeletal

Which is it?

MB Williams
Dept. of Anthro., UMass-Amherst