Re: diseases and immunity (TB addendum)

Gerold Firl (
10 Jul 1996 12:25:47 -0700

In article <4rv123$> Beth Williams) writes:

>In <4ruo1k$> (Gerold Firl)

>> 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.)

I don't have _plagues and peoples_ with me here, but I believe the passage is
on p. 54, in a general discussion of the co-evolution of diseases and their
host population. Mcneill is using this example as an illustration of the
amelioration of virulence which *always* occurs when a new disease colonizes
a previously unexposed host population.

Note: we're not talking about acquired immunity here.

>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?

I am not making either claim, and never have. I don't know when the incident
took place, nor do I know how the diagnosis of TB was made. I am simply
reporting what I saw in _plagues and peoples_. It would be nice if mcneill
had provided more background, but he didn't. To get that, we'll have to look
at the rene dubos book I cited earlier.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf