GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2009-02 > 1235353163
Subject: [DNA] What is your pref. DNA of mice or lice to spice up your life?
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 20:39:23 EST
That article on phylogenetic trees of house mice reminded me
of our past phylogenetic tree discussions of body lice.
Here is a new review article of interest that can be Googled
and cached with a search engine if it does not come through here:
Apes, lice and prehistory
Robin A Weiss
Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, 46 Cleveland
Street, London W1T 4JF
Journal of Biology 2009, 8:20doi:10.1186/jbiol114
The electronic version of this article:
Published: 10 February 2009
Although most epidemic human infectious diseases
are caused by recently introduced pathogens, cospeciation
of parasite and host is commonplace for endemic infections.
Occasional host infidelity, however, provides the endemic
parasite with an opportunity to survive the potential extinction
of its host. Such infidelity may account for the survival of
certain types of human lice, and it is currently exemplified by viruses such
Slightly off topic, but this really happened to me so I thought
you might get a kick out of it: I recently had the opportunity
to examine a patient in my (derm) office who was covered
with lice but not the kind I expected to see but rather Pthirus pubis.
He was in his 70s and had been itching for about 4 months. Both
his family doc and the ER doc had failed to make the diagnosis.
I actually thought about collecting the critters and sending them off for
DNA analysis. Well, I figured someone could have had a field day doing
phylogenetic tree studies or autosomal crossover recombination
family studies or something like that. I have never seen so many nits
(eggs) and live lice (about a hundred) in my life. And to think these
preferred his chest and back hair. Maybe this was a mutant strain
or a case of host infidelity.
Anyway, I left the room to look at one under the microscope. While
I was gone the man kindly deposited about 10 more on the counter
so they could crawl in between the surgical instruments. He thought
I needed more to make the diagnosis. No thank you, one is enough.
At that point I decided that the DNA of arthropods was certainly not
as interesting as humans and I got out the bottle of Rid spray. I can
handle just about anything, but not that.
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