An idiopathic crippling polyarticular osteoarthritis endemic in Northern Zululand–(now Kwazulu-Natal), an impoverished, geographically isolated province of South Africa–which affects the appendicular joints of 11% of men and 39% of women.
When it was first described in the late 1970s, an estimated 2,000 persons suffered from the disease, which was viewed as similar to dysplasia epiphysealis multiplex and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia. Up to 90% of the population was grossly incapacitated in old age.
Note: Pathological studies on the bones of Mseleni disease are undertaken after the vultures have stripped the flesh, since it is a local custom to leave the dead to be eaten by scavengers. Despite intensive investigations into Mseleni joint disease, its cause remains unknown.
References Joint Bone Spine. 2010 Oct;77(5):399-404.
Clin Orthop 1979; 141:223