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Detection and characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in 18th Century Hungarians with pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis

Donoghue, HD; Pap, I; Szikossy, I; Spigelman, M; (2011) Detection and characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in 18th Century Hungarians with pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis. In: Gill-Frerking, H and Rosendahl, W and Zink, A and Piombino-Mascasli, D, (eds.) Yearbook of mummy studies. (51 - 56). Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil: München, Germany. Green open access

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Abstract

Skeletal and naturally mummified tissues from a previously archived group of 18th century Hungarian remains were examined for the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTB) DNA, using specific nested PCR for the IS6110 locus. Paleopathological changes in bones and from radiographs were noted in a minority of cases. Overall, specimens from 157/232 (67.7 %) of individuals proved positive, ranging from 20/43 (46.5 %) in children, 26/29 in middle-age (89.7 %) and 32/46 individuals aged 65-95 years (69.6 %). Single samples gave a positive result in 67/120 of cases (55.8 %). Most were ribs where the surface adjacent to lungs and pleura was sampled. When multiple sites were examined, 73/93 (78.5 %) individuals were positive; most of these had MTB only in the pulmonary region but 26 had disseminated disease (35.6 %) and 12 (16.4 %) had extra-pulmonary disease only. To distinguish M. tuberculosis from Mycobacterium bovis, well-preserved positive samples were examined for several additional genetic loci including the TbD1 deletion – characteristic of modern European strains of M. tuberculosis, and spoligotyped. No evidence other than of human M. tuberculosis was found, but different strains were detected. Tuberculosis was widespread in this community and whilst some individuals succumbed early in life, the majority co-existed with the infection. Therefore, this study may lead to the identification of host alleles and MTB strains associated with active and latent disease.

Type:Book chapter
Title:Detection and characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in 18th Century Hungarians with pulmonary and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis
ISBN-13:9783899371376
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version:http://www.pfeil-verlag.de/03arch/eymsd01.php
Keywords:ancient DNA, human remains, PCR, tuberculosis
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Infection and Immunity (Division of)

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