Re: diseases and immunity (TB addendum)

Mary Beth Williams (
9 Jul 1996 20:43:11 GMT

In <4ru3hs$> (Gerold Firl)
>In article <4rom4t$>, Beth Williams) writes:

>|> Is the case of the Ojibway you reference cited in MacNeil or
>|> source? (I'd like to look at it first hand, as the groups from the
>|> Upper Midwest have shown indications of TB for centuries, due to
>|> almost constant contact with Euros from the 16th century, and in
>|> fizzy work done on purported *pre-Contact* TB cases come from that
>|> area, thus I have a difficult time accepting that any group in the
>|> region was first *exposed* to TB within the last century.)
>Mcneill does mention something like this, discussing a group of
>"canadian indians" on their first exposure to TB. He doesn't say when
>it happened; I assumed 19th century. He does say that at first
>exposure, the infection looked totally unlike TB; not only were the
>internal organs attacked, but also the spinal meninges. By the third
>generation, the infection settled down into the familiar pulmonary

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 series,
the most common and characteristic lesion.* (p. 145) This is true in
all ethnicities, not only Native Americans.

MB Williams
Dept. of Anthro., UMass-Amherst