Asked • 07/18/19

Can immunity to diseases vary by populations?

A common explanation for the massive population decreases of isolated societies upon contact with Europeans during the Age of Discovery is that the natives lacked immunity to newly introduced diseases. What does this actually mean? Is it just a shorthand for "the adult population was not subjected to these pathogenes during childhood and is therefore more susceptible to them" or is there maybe a certain genetic component to it?

1 Expert Answer

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Jesse E. answered • 07/22/19

Chemist specializing in tutoring in biology, math, and chemistry.

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