M. leprae

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Science Notes – Leprosy in medieval England

Analysis of medieval skeletons from two sites, one in Chichester and another in Raunds Furnells, has identified the presence of Mycobacterium leprae DNA – signs of leprosy in medieval England.

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Investigating leprosy in Ireland

New research into the origins of leprosy in Ireland has revealed connections with the Viking world. A team from Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Surrey, the University of Southampton, and the University of East Anglia analysed five skeletons: three from Dublin (SkCXLVIII, SkCXCV, SkCCXXX), one from Armoy, Co. Antrim (Sk171), and the last from Ardreigh, Co. Kildare (Sk1494). All five presented with lesions consistent with leprosy, but to confirm the diagnosis the team conducted aDNA analysis of the remains.