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Journal Article

Features of the study of ancient pathogens


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

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Musralina, L. Z., Djansugurova, L. B., & Krause, J. (2020). Features of the study of ancient pathogens. Журнал проблем эволюции открытых систем, 22(1), 83-89.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-DB8D-4
Infectious disease have affected humans throughout their evolution, both during acute pandemic events and through persistent morbidity and mortality. Recent advancements in the field of ancient genomics have increased our understanding of the infectious disease history and pathogen evolution though time. For the article, we used more than 300 ancient teeth samples from Central Asia, spanning the time period between the 4th century BCE and the 4th century CE, to address questions related to pathogen presence in past populations and microbial evolution through time. It focused on non-targeted metagenomic approaches for the detection of ancient pathogens in ancient human remains. Additionally, the article describes a specific case study of paleo-DNA screening for the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis, which is known to have afflicted human populations since the Neolithic period, has caused immense mortality during the Middle Ages in Europe and continues to be prevalent across Central Asia today.