A case of congenital syphilis during the colonial period in Mexico City

Authors

  • Josefina Mansilla,

    Corresponding author
    1. Dirección de Antropología Física, Institute National de Antropotogía e Historia, México, D.F. 11560
    • Direccíon de Antropología Física, Reforma y Gandhi s/n, Polanco, México, D.F. 11560
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  • Carmen M. Pijoan

    1. Dirección de Antropología Física, Institute National de Antropotogía e Historia, México, D.F. 11560
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Abstract

Congenital syphilis has been diagnosed very seldom in ancient populations. The case that we examined comes from San Jeronimo's Church (17th and 18th centuries AD; Mexico City). Coffin 43 contained an incomplete skeleton of an approximately 2-year-old infant. The pathological lesions of this skeleton include bilateral osteochondritis, diaphyseal osteomyelitis, and osteitis and/or periostitis on the long bones. The radiographic appearance depicts symmetrical osteomyelitic foci, particularly at the proximal extremity of both tibiae (Wimberger's sign). The skull exhibits hydroceph-aly and periosteal changes on the vault, and the unerupted upper incisors evince dental hypoplasia and other pathological alterations reminiscent of Hutchinson's incisors. All these features strongly suggest a case of early Congenital syphilis. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Ancillary