The study focuses on the evidence for tuberculosis apparent in an Iron Age population recovered from the cemetery of Aymyrlyg, Tyva (Tuva), South Siberia. A recent wholly molecular study of five of the cases confirmed the presence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) complex DNA in four of the individuals. In all cases the disease was caused by strains of Mycobacterium bovis rather than Mycobacterium tuberculosis and represents the first positive identification of the bovine form of the disease in archaeological human remains. Details of the palaeopathological characteristics of the cases are provided in the current paper, while the molecular observations are extended to include a quantitative evaluation of the surviving mycobacterial DNA using real-time PCR. The observation that bovine tuberculosis was the pathogen responsible is discussed in terms of current understanding of the evolution of the MTB complex as well as the implications for future ancient DNA studies in this area.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Murphy, E. M., Chistov, Y. K., Hopkins, R., Rutland, P., & Taylor, G. M. (2009). Tuberculosis among Iron Age individuals from Tyva, South Siberia: palaeopathological and biomolecular findings. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(9), 2029-2038. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2009.05.025