[en] Evidence for louse-transmitted diseases in soldiers of Napoleon's grand army in Vilnius

Clé

hal_000397

HALId

halshs-00008119

Date export

2024-03-22

Monogr

The journal of infectious diseases

Instance

HALSHS

Meeting

The journal of infectious diseases - United States

Mots clés en

enHumanities and Social Sciences/Biological anthropology
enLouse-bon infectious diseases
enNapoleon's Grand Army
enVilnius
enLithuania

Précision / Commentaire

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JID/journal/issues/v193n1/34959/34959.text.html

Date de publication

Langue du document

Anglais

Résumé

[en] Background. Many soldiers in Napoleon's Grand Army died of infectious diseases during its retreat from Russia. Because soldiers were commonly infested with body lice, it has been speculated that louse-borne infectious diseases, such as epidemic typhus (caused by Rickettsia prowazekii), were common. Methods. We investigated this possibility during recent excavations of a mass grave of Napoleon's soldiers in Vilnius, Lithuania. Segments of 5 body lice, identified morphologically and by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing, were found in earth from the grave that also contained fragments of soldiers' uniforms. Results. DNA of Bartonella quintana (the agent of trench fever) was identified by PCR and sequencing in 3 of the lice. Similarly, PCR and sequencing of dental pulp from the remains of 35 soldiers revealed DNA of B. quintana in 7 soldiers and DNA of R. prowazekii in 3 other soldiers. Conclusions. Our results show that louse-borne infectious diseases affected nearly one-third of Napoleon's soldiers buried in Vilnius and indicate that these diseases might have been a major factor in the French retreat from Russia.

Auditoire

International

Est une partie de

Editeur

Oxford University Press (OUP)

Nom de la revue

Journal of Infectious Diseases

Collection

Domaine traduit

HAL

Format du depot

Notice

Date de modification

2006-01-23

Licence

Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Citation bibliographique

Didier Raoult, Olivier Dutour, Rimantas Jankauskas, L. Houhamdi, Pierre-Edouard Fournier, et al.. Evidence for louse-transmitted diseases in soldiers of Napoleon's grand army in Vilnius. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2006, 193 (1), pp.112-120. [halshs-00008119]

Citer cette ressource

[en] Evidence for louse-transmitted diseases in soldiers of Napoleon's grand army in Vilnius, dans Études nordiques, consulté le 23 Juillet 2024, https://etudes-nordiques.cnrs.fr/s/numenord/item/11476