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Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in archaeological specimens'

Spigelman, M; Donoghue, HD; (1999) Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in archaeological specimens'. In: Pälfi, G and Dutour, O and Deák, J and Hutás, I, (eds.) Tuberculosis Past and Present. (353 - 360). Golden Book Publisher Ltd., Tuberculosis Foundation: Budapest.

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DNA from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex has been isolated and identified from numerous specimens since 1992 using the Polymerase Chain Reaction. A whole new area of research has thus been identified – paleomicrobiology. The first positive findings were from bones and from mummified tissues. However, we have now found DNA from tubercle bacilli in calcified pleura from remains 1400 years old, using nested PCR with IS6110, the target sequence. The greatest technical obstacle to be overcome is still that of DNA extraction. The significance of paleomicrobiology and the future development of this scientific advance is discussed.

Type:Book chapter
Title:Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in archaeological specimens'
Keywords:M. tuberculosis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), primers, ancient DNA
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Infection and Immunity (Division of)

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