Message #120:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Never Invite An Iguana to Dinner
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 14:32:45 -0700

>Date: Thu, 13 Mar 1997 13:53:13 -0700 (MST)
>From: dd 
>Subject: Re: Never Accept an Iguana's Offer to Prepare Dinner
>Dear Brian,
>	I have never heard of hard tissue involvement with any of the 
>"lesser forms" of salmonellosis.  Ortner and Putschar do note, however, 
>that 1% of cases of typhoid fever (S. typhi infection) regardless of age do 
>develop osteomyelitis, with involvement of the ribs, tibia and spine most 
>common.  Multiple bones may be affected in the same individual.  Whether 
>an identification of typhoid fever with any reliability from bone lesions 
>is doubtful.
>	All the best.  Chuck.
>May there always be skeletons in your closet!
>Charles F. Merbs      cfm9336@IMAP1.ASU.EDU
>Phone: (602)965-4537 or (602)965-6213 for messages
>FAX: (602)965-7671
>On Mon, 10 Mar 1997 wrote:
>> Dr. Merbs --
>> Lizards and iguanas are really great to eat when pounded on a rock and
>> dried into jerky.  It seems that this protein source worked well for
>> lots of groups in America (the Great Basin, the Southwest, Mexico,
>> etc).  Ethnographically, there are many interesting photographs of
>> Mexican Indians selling fresh iguana at market.
>> Just curious -- does any evidence of S. serotype Marina show up in any
>> form in hard tissues, and, in prehistoric skeletal populations?
>> Brian 
>> Monday March 10 6:22 PM EST 
>> Iguanas Spreading Salmonella
>> NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Salmonella bacteria may be leaping off lizards and
>> into pet-owner's lives, experts say. 
>> "Many parents do not know that owning an iguana puts their children at
>> risk for Salmonella infection," say experts from the National Center for
>> Infectious Disease, a wing of the Centers for Disease Control and
>> Prevention (CDC). 
>> Salmonella infection can cause fevers, gastric upset and blood
>> poisoning. Though rarely fatal, the bacteria can be dangerous to infants
>> and young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune
>> systems. 
>> The report says 67 cases of a specific Salmonella infection -- S.
>> serotype Marina -- occurred nationwide in 1995 alone. Experts says those
>> cases may be only a small minority of the total infections. "Because
>> only 1% to 5% of Salmonella infections are reported to the CDC, the 67
>> (cases) reported in 1995 represent an estimated 1,340 to 6,700 human
>> infections," they warn. 
>> The study authors believe the majority of the infections were linked to
>> pet iguanas, either those kept in the victim's home or in the homes of
>> friends or relatives. Twenty-eight of the 32 patients interviewed "had a
>> history of exposure
>> to an iguana in the week before illness," researchers say. 
>> And the infection is more common in male patients than in females. "This
>> may be attributable to increased reptile ownership among families with
>> male children or to differences in types of contact with pet reptiles,"
>> write the study authors. 
>> The iguana-borne infection is extremely contagious -- in fact, "only 4
>> of these 28 patients were reported to have touched the iguana." The
>> researchers note that cases have occurred after visiting a home where
>> iguanas are kept, or after a parent has handled an iguana. 
>> "Direct contact with an iguana was not necessary for S Marina
>> infection," experts confirm. The CDC says the following precautions may
>> help prevent infection: 
>> -- washing hands after handling reptiles and their cages. 
>> -- keeping reptiles out of homes or with infants or toddlers. Babies
>> seem especially susceptible to Salmonella infection, probably through
>> contaminated formula, experts say. 
>> -- preventing reptiles from roaming throughout the house, especially
>> kitchens. Food preparation may be an important infection route, the CDC
>> says. 
>> -- avoiding the use of kitchen sinks and bathtubs as areas for bathing
>> reptiles and their dishes and cages. If bathtubs must be used for such
>> purposes, they should be thoroughly disinfected afterwards. 
>> The study also found the use of antibiotics prior to infection may
>> increase the susceptibility to illness. Antibiotics may alter the
>> balance of certain 'good' bacteria living in the colon, and at the same
>> time weaken the body's defenses
>> toward Salmonella infection. 
>> All reptiles potentially harbor Salmonella, researchers say. "Lizards
>> have long been known to harbor Salmonella species. They are asymptomatic
>> carriers of Salmonella, and reported carriage rates have been as high as
>> 77%," the CDC report states. 
>> Meanwhile, the popularity of iguanas and other reptiles continues to
>> rise, along with the rate of S. Marina infection. "Three percent of
>> United States households owned a total of 7.3 million reptiles,"
>> researchers say. Iguana importation
>> increased from 41,183 in 1982 to 569,774 in 1994. 
>> At the same time, cases of CDC-reported S. Marina infections rose from
>> just 1 in 1989, to the 67 reported in 1995. 
>> "Pediatricians, veterinarians, and pet store owners should provide their
>> patients and customers who own reptiles with appropriate preventative
>> education," the study authors say. And they add that parents with young
>> children should "consider whether the benefits of reptile ownership are
>> worth the risk." SOURCE: Pediatrics  1997;99(3):399-402)