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Positive Diagnosis of Ancient Leprosy and Tuberculosis Using Ancient DNA and Lipid Biomarkers

Donoghue, H, Taylor, G, Stewart, Graham, Lee, O, Wu, H, Besra, G and Minnikin, D (2017) Positive Diagnosis of Ancient Leprosy and Tuberculosis Using Ancient DNA and Lipid Biomarkers Diversity, 9 (4), 46.

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Abstract

Diagnosis of leprosy and tuberculosis in archaeological material is most informative when based upon entire genomes. Ancient DNA (aDNA) is often degraded but amplification of specific fragments also provides reliable diagnoses. Cell wall lipid biomarkers can distinguish ancient leprosy from tuberculosis and DNA extraction residues can be utilized. The diagnostic power of combined aDNA and lipid biomarkers is illustrated by key cases of ancient leprosy and/or tuberculosis. Human tuberculosis was demonstrated in a woman and child from Atlit-Yam (~9 ka) in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the 600 BCE Egyptian “Granville” mummy. Both aDNA and lipids confirmed Pleistocene tuberculosis in a ~17 ka bison from Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. Leprosy is exemplified by cases from Winchester (10th–12th centuries CE) and Great Chesterford (5th–6th centuries CE). A mixed infection from Kiskundorozsma, Hungary (7th century CE) allowed lipid biomarkers to assess the relative load of leprosy and tuberculosis. Essential protocols for aDNA amplification and analysis of mycolic, mycolipenic, mycocerosic acid, and phthiocerol lipid biomarkers are summarized. Diagnoses of ancient mycobacterial disease can be extended beyond the reach of whole genomics by combinations of aDNA amplification and lipid biomarkers, with sole use of the latter having the potential to recognize even older cases.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Donoghue, H
Taylor, G
Stewart, GrahamG.Stewart@surrey.ac.uk
Lee, O
Wu, H
Besra, G
Minnikin, D
Date : 15 October 2017
Identification Number : 10.3390/d9040046
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Uncontrolled Keywords : aDNA; cell wall lipids; evolution; genotyping; Mycobacterium leprae; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; palaeopathology
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 20 Mar 2018 09:15
Last Modified : 20 Mar 2018 09:15
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/846049

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