Syphilis-Like Diseases Already Prevalent in the Americas before the Arrival of Columbus

Researchers from the Universities of Basel, Zurich and Sao Paulo and the NHM Vienna have discovered the genetic material belonging to the pathogen Treponema pallidum in the bones of people who died in Brazil 2,000 years ago. This is the oldest confirmed discovery of the pathogen to date and proves that people were dying from syphilis-like diseases, so-called treponematoses, long before Columbus sailed to the Americas. The new findings, published in the scientific journal Nature, call into question previous theories on the spread of syphilis by the Spanish conquistadors.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft