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Glenn Nichols, surrounded by his hospice team. The author is in yellow.

Genetic Linkage

Vanquishing “Mossy Foot” With Genetic Epidemiology and Shoes

April 19, 2012

Tags: mossy foot, podo, podoconiosis, Charles Rotimi, Ricki Lewis, Fasil Tekola Ayele, Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

Podoconiosis is painful and isolating, affects millions, and is completely curable -- with shoes.
This blog was first published at Scientific American blogs

In Fasil Tekola Ayele’s native Ethiopia, the people call it “mossy foot.” Medical textbooks call it podoconiosis, non-filarial elephantiasis, or simply “podo.”

The hideously deformed feet of podo result not from mosquito-borne parasitic worms, as does filarial elephantiasis, nor from bacteria, like leprosy. Instead, podo arises from an immune response to microscopic slivers of mineral that penetrate the skin of people walking barefoot on the damp red soil that tops volcanic rock. Podoconiosis means “foot” and “dust” in Greek. (more…)

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