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Mycetoma - a history of the first contributions to the description of the disease and its pathogenesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number4
Published14 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Copyright: This record is sourced from MEDLINE/PubMed, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

King's Authors


Tracking the history of the discovery of mycetoma is not simple because identifying the roots of medical knowledge depends on utilising sources that employ imprecise and sometimes confusing descriptions when compared with those based on modern medical terminology. Ancient sources of information include writings, such as poetry, archaeology and paleopathology, as well as legend and folklore. The earliest precise descriptions of mycetoma were recorded in the mid-19th century by medical officers working in southern India. But interest in the disease spread rapidly both among doctors in India and elsewhere, from Algeria to Mexico to Sudan. Although over time the names of organisms have changed, the clinical and pathological descriptions still stand as testament to those early detailed studies. Some of the conclusions of the early investigators, particularly the general lack of effective treatment and the difficulty in diagnosis, remain true today.

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