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Palaeopathology and Differential Diagnosis—A Probable Case of Secondary Infection (Tell Masaikh, Syria)

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DOI: 10.4236/aa.2013.31005    3,162 Downloads   8,067 Views  

ABSTRACT

Palaeopathology integrates knowledge and methods from physical anthropology and medicine. It aims to obtain information concerning the type of pathological conditions, their antiquity, palaeoepidemiology and etiology in past populations. However, practice shows that despite the use of new techniques, it is often difficult or impossible to make a correct differential diagnosis of diseases based on the study of archaeological skeletal series. Here we present a case study of differential diagnosis of pathological conditions which have been observed on the bones of the skeleton of a 30 - 34 years old female from Tell Masaikh (Syria). Morphological, histological, radiological and molecular methods have been applied in order to assess the pathological lesions. The molecular analysis shows no evidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis although this should be regarded as absence of evidence and not evidence of absence. Subsequently our diagnosis was narrowed to traumatic changes related to infection. This illustrates the complications associated with differential diagnosis of pathological conditions from ancient bones.

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Tomczyk, J. , Mańkowska-Pliszka, H. , Taylor, G. , Pinhasi, R. & Jakuciński, M. (2013). Palaeopathology and Differential Diagnosis—A Probable Case of Secondary Infection (Tell Masaikh, Syria). Advances in Anthropology, 3, 33-37. doi: 10.4236/aa.2013.31005.

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