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Pre-Columbian mycobacterial genomes reveal seals as a source of New World human tuberculosis

Bos, K. I. and Harkins, K. M. and Herbig, A. and Coscolla, M. and Weber, N. and Comas, I. and Forrest, S. A. and Bryant, J. M. and Harris, S. R. and Schuenemann, V. J. and Campbell, T. J. and Majander, K. and Wilbur, A. K. and Guichon, R. A. and Wolfe Steadman, D. L. and Cook, D. C. and Niemann, S. and Behr, M. A. and Zumarraga, M. and Bastida, R. and Huson, D. and Nieselt, K. and Young, D. and Parkhill, J. and Buikstra, J. E. and Gagneux, S. and Stone, A. C. and Krause, J.. (2014) Pre-Columbian mycobacterial genomes reveal seals as a source of New World human tuberculosis. Nature, Vol. 514, H. 7523. pp. 494-497.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6319238

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Abstract

Modern strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from the Americas are closely related to those from Europe, supporting the assumption that human tuberculosis was introduced post-contact. This notion, however, is incompatible with archaeological evidence of pre-contact tuberculosis in the New World. Comparative genomics of modern isolates suggests that M. tuberculosis attained its worldwide distribution following human dispersals out of Africa during the Pleistocene epoch, although this has yet to be confirmed with ancient calibration points. Here we present three 1,000-year-old mycobacterial genomes from Peruvian human skeletons, revealing that a member of the M. tuberculosis complex caused human disease before contact. The ancient strains are distinct from known human-adapted forms and are most closely related to those adapted to seals and sea lions. Two independent dating approaches suggest a most recent common ancestor for the M. tuberculosis complex less than 6,000 years ago, which supports a Holocene dispersal of the disease. Our results implicate sea mammals as having played a role in transmitting the disease to humans across the ocean
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology > Tuberculosis Research (Gagneux)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Coscoll√°, Mireja and Gagneux, Sebastien
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Book Review
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Macmillan
ISSN:0028-0836
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal item
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Last Modified:29 Jan 2016 07:59
Deposited On:09 Jan 2015 09:24

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