What Are Armadillo Diseases?


Quick Answer

Armadillos are subject to leprosy and are one of the few nonhuman species affected. Armadillos also serve as a natural reservoir for Chagas disease, a tropical disease caused by microscopic parasites.

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Full Answer

Transmission of leprosy from armadillos to humans is possible but rare. Most people infected this way either handled armadillos or ate their meat, which is considered a delicacy in parts of Latin America. Armadillos are used for biomedical research on leprosy and for studying organ transplants and birth defects. The nine-banded armadillo always produces four identical offspring per litter from a single fertilized egg and is used for research on reproduction.

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