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Ancient pathogen genomics as an emerging tool for infectious disease research

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Spyrou,  Maria A.
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Bos,  Kirsten I.
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;
CoDisEASe, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Herbig,  Alexander
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Krause,  Johannes
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;
MHAAM, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Spyrou, M. A., Bos, K. I., Herbig, A., & Krause, J. (2019). Ancient pathogen genomics as an emerging tool for infectious disease research. Nature Reviews Genetics, 20, 323-340. doi:10.1038/s41576-019-0119-1.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-3027-7
Abstract
Over the past decade, a genomics revolution, made possible through the development of high-throughput sequencing, has triggered considerable progress in the study of ancient DNA, enabling complete genomes of past organisms to be reconstructed. A newly established branch of this field, ancient pathogen genomics, affords an in-depth view of microbial evolution by providing a molecular fossil record for a number of human-associated pathogens. Recent accomplishments include the confident identification of causative agents from past pandemics, the discovery of microbial lineages that are now extinct, the extrapolation of past emergence events on a chronological scale and the characterization of long-term evolutionary history of microorganisms that remain relevant to public health today. In this Review, we discuss methodological advancements, persistent challenges and novel revelations gained through the study of ancient pathogen genomes.