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Detection and strain typing of ancient Mycobacterium leprae from a medieval leprosy hospital.

Taylor, GM, Tucker, K, Butler, R, Pike, AW, Lewis, J, Roffey, S, Marter, P, Lee, OY, Wu, HH, Minnikin, DE, Besra, GS, Singh, P, Cole, ST and Stewart, GR (2013) Detection and strain typing of ancient Mycobacterium leprae from a medieval leprosy hospital. PLoS One, 8 (4).

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Abstract

Nine burials excavated from the Magdalen Hill Archaeological Research Project (MHARP) in Winchester, UK, showing skeletal signs of lepromatous leprosy (LL) have been studied using a multidisciplinary approach including osteological, geochemical and biomolecular techniques. DNA from Mycobacterium leprae was amplified from all nine skeletons but not from control skeletons devoid of indicative pathology. In several specimens we corroborated the identification of M. leprae with detection of mycolic acids specific to the cell wall of M. leprae and persistent in the skeletal samples. In five cases, the preservation of the material allowed detailed genotyping using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and multiple locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Three of the five cases proved to be infected with SNP type 3I-1, ancestral to contemporary M. leprae isolates found in southern states of America and likely carried by European migrants. From the remaining two burials we identified, for the first time in the British Isles, the occurrence of SNP type 2F. Stable isotope analysis conducted on tooth enamel taken from two of the type 3I-1 and one of the type 2F remains revealed that all three individuals had probably spent their formative years in the Winchester area. Previously, type 2F has been implicated as the precursor strain that migrated from the Middle East to India and South-East Asia, subsequently evolving to type 1 strains. Thus we show that type 2F had also spread westwards to Britain by the early medieval period.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Taylor, GMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Tucker, KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Butler, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Pike, AWUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lewis, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Roffey, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Marter, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lee, OYUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wu, HHUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Minnikin, DEUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Besra, GSUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Singh, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Cole, STUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Stewart, GRUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2013
Identification Number : 10.1371/journal.pone.0062406
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Copyright 2013 Taylor et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 15 Oct 2013 13:43
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:12
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/804070

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