1887

Chapter 3 : Six Plagues of Antiquity

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Preview this chapter:
Zoom in
Zoomout

Six Plagues of Antiquity, Page 1 of 2

| /docserver/preview/fulltext/10.1128/9781555816483/9781555813567_Chap03-1.gif /docserver/preview/fulltext/10.1128/9781555816483/9781555813567_Chap03-2.gif

Abstract:

The diseases of antiquity (5000 BC to AD 700) were characterized by parasites with long-lived transmission stages (e.g., eggs) as well as those involving person-to-person contact. Most diseases became established only when a persistent small number of infectious individuals could be maintained, i.e., when the disease became endemic; this required populations greater than a few hundred thousand. The cause of snail fever, the disease that set the Egyptian civilization on its inexorable downward spiral, was unknown to the ancient Egyptians because the transmission stages of the parasite (eggs, miracidia, and cercariae) are microscopic; in addition, the adult worms themselves are tiny and live within the small blood vessels, so they were unnoticed for thousands of years. Blood fluke disease, also known as snail fever or endemic hematuria, involves feces or urine, water, snails, and a flatworm. The life cycle and mode of transmission of the schistosome to a human was first demonstrated between 1908 and 1910 in Japan. Each day, hundreds of embryo-containing eggs move across the walls of the veins into the bladder or intestine, aided by the host’s inflammatory response, and in the process, eggs become enclosed in a small tumor called a granuloma. Diagnosis of schistosomiasis is made by examining stools and urine under the light microscope and finding eggs. The plague of Athens demoralized the citizenry, destroyed the fighting power of the Athenian navy, and prevented the launching of an attack against Sparta.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Six Plagues of Antiquity, p 42-65. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch3
Highlighted Text: Show | Hide
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

Figures

Image of Figure 3.1
Figure 3.1

Plague in an Ancient City (detail), circa 1652–1654 by Michael Sweerts (1624–1664). Museum number AC1997.10.1. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, gift of The Ahmanson Foundation. Photograph © 2005 Museum Associates/LACMA.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Six Plagues of Antiquity, p 42-65. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch3
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint
Image of Figure 3.2
Figure 3.2

The blood fluke Schistosoma, causative agent of the Pharaoh's Plague. (A) Hieroglyphic; (B) calcified egg from a mummy; (C) Schistosoma haematobium egg, as seen with a light microscope; (D) Schistosoma mansoni egg with miracidium inside; (E) adults in copula, as seen with the scanning electron microscope (from David Halton); (F) ciliated miracidium, as seen with the scanning electron microscope (courtesy of Vaughan Southgate); and (G) cercaria, as seen by scanning electron microscopy (from David Halton). mw, male worm; fw, female worm; gc, gynecophoric canal.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Six Plagues of Antiquity, p 42-65. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch3
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint
Image of Figure 3.3
Figure 3.3

Two young boys infected with blood flues.

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Six Plagues of Antiquity, p 42-65. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch3
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint
Image of Figure 3.4
Figure 3.4

The physician Jason, a contemporary of Hoppocrates, palpating the spleen (from a funerary urn in The British Museum, London).

Citation: Sherman I. 2006. Six Plagues of Antiquity, p 42-65. In The Power of Plagues. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816483.ch3
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint

References

/content/book/10.1128/9781555816483.chap03

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Please check the format of the address you have entered.
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error