lundi 12 janvier 2015

Spain / Portugal: The slave trade reported malaria in America.

The "Plasmodium falciparum" the most violent malaria parasite is of African origin.

         Under this strange name hides the most dangerous of the five species of malaria which decimate the world (Asia, America, Oceania) and five countries that W.H.O. class in its"Europe": Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, the Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkey. This parasite is of African origin.
         According to a study by French researchers of the Research Unit miste M.I.V.E.G.E.C. (Diseases and vectors: ecology, genetics, evolution and control) and published on December 26, 2011 in the "Proceedings" of the Academy of American Science (P.N.A.S.).
         Thanks to the collaboration of biologists from around the world, a collection of a thousand samples of P. falciparum covering all its range could be gathered. It then took perform the analysis of certain genetic markers to trace the "tracks" of the pathogen. Several findings have been obtained. First, it appeared that the P. falciparum that are currently found in Latin America (because this species lives in the tropics) are different from those circulating in Asia, which invalidates the thesis Strait Bering. In fact, the South American parasites are clearly of African origin.

The parasite was on board of the various slave ships.

         Another lesson from the study: the mosquitoes came in several times and independently, in a time ranging from five to two centuries before today. All indices thus converge to suggest that Plasmodium falciparum crossed the ocean aboard slave ships.
         It was found two major main roads it has borrowed. The first leading north from South America (Colombia), the second leading further south (Brazil). These two routes coincide with the division of the New World between Spain and Portugal, conducted under the auspices of Pope Alexander VI Borgia (1431-1503) in Tordesillas (in the Spanish province of Valladolid) on June 7, 1494.

The Bull "Inter Caetera" of Pope Alexander VI Borgia in 1493.

         This colonial division of Latin America is still reflected today in the languages spoken there: the Spanish Central America and the westernmost part of the South American continent, the Portuguese the butt cake that today Brazil. The mid-sixteenth century to the mid nineteenth century, it is estimated that more than 5 million Africans were deported to Brazil, where they landed mainly in Rio and Salvador de Bahia, the first capital of the colony. On Spanish side, the slave trade was the main destinations: Cuba, Veracruz, Mexico, and Cartagena in Colombia.

The price of the most despicable human trafficking of history!

         It is likely that the introduction of P. falciparum in South America has been a recurring process, which lasted as long as African slaves were deported to the mainland by both the Spanish and Portuguese empires. These recurrent introductions certainly played an important role in shaping the genetic diversity currently observed in the two South American tanks.
         The Andes, which form a natural geographic barrier between Central America and western South America from the rest of the continent, may have played a role in preventing these tanks to homogenize during the course of the history.  
"A wonderful example where history, geopolitics, geography, and one of the vilest that ever existed shops intermingle with biology. an example also highlights the major invasive capacity of the parasite causing the malaria ".

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