Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorSchuenemann, Verena J
dc.contributor.authorAvanzi, Charlotte
dc.contributor.authorKrause-Kyora, Ben
dc.contributor.authorSeitz, Alexander
dc.contributor.authorHerbig, Alexander
dc.contributor.authorInskip, Sarah Alice
dc.contributor.authorBonazzi, Marion
dc.contributor.authorReiter, Ella
dc.contributor.authorUrban, Christian
dc.contributor.authorDangvard Pedersen, Dorthe
dc.contributor.authorTaylor, G Michael
dc.contributor.authorSingh, Pushpendra
dc.contributor.authorStewart, Graham R
dc.contributor.authorVelemínský, Petr
dc.contributor.authorLikovsky, Jakub
dc.contributor.authorMarcsik, Antónia
dc.contributor.authorMolnár, Erika
dc.contributor.authorPálfi, György
dc.contributor.authorMariotti, Valentina
dc.contributor.authorRiga, Alessandro
dc.contributor.authorBelcastro, M Giovanna
dc.contributor.authorBoldsen, Jesper L
dc.contributor.authorNebel, Almut
dc.contributor.authorMays, Simon
dc.contributor.authorDonoghue, Helen D
dc.contributor.authorZakrzewski, Sonia
dc.contributor.authorBenjak, Andrej
dc.contributor.authorNieselt, Kay
dc.contributor.authorCole, Stewart T
dc.contributor.authorKrause, Johannes
dc.description.abstractStudying ancient DNA allows us to retrace the evolutionary history of human pathogens, such as Mycobacterium leprae, the main causative agent of leprosy. Leprosy is one of the oldest recorded and most stigmatizing diseases in human history. The disease was prevalent in Europe until the 16th century and is still endemic in many countries with over 200,000 new cases reported annually. Previous worldwide studies on modern and European medieval M. leprae genomes revealed that they cluster into several distinct branches of which two were present in medieval Northwestern Europe. In this study, we analyzed 10 new medieval M. leprae genomes including the so far oldest M. leprae genome from one of the earliest known cases of leprosy in the United Kingdom-a skeleton from the Great Chesterford cemetery with a calibrated age of 415-545 C.E. This dataset provides a genetic time transect of M. leprae diversity in Europe over the past 1500 years. We find M. leprae strains from four distinct branches to be present in the Early Medieval Period, and strains from three different branches were detected within a single cemetery from the High Medieval Period. Altogether these findings suggest a higher genetic diversity of M. leprae strains in medieval Europe at various time points than previously assumed. The resulting more complex picture of the past phylogeography of leprosy in Europe impacts current phylogeographical models of M. leprae dissemination. It suggests alternative models for the past spread of leprosy such as a wide spread prevalence of strains from different branches in Eurasia already in Antiquity or maybe even an origin in Western Eurasia. Furthermore, these results highlight how studying ancient M. leprae strains improves understanding the history of leprosy worldwide.
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
dc.rightsAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
dc.subjectMycobacterium leprae
dc.subjectDNA, Bacterial
dc.subjectEvolution, Molecular
dc.subjectPolymorphism, Single Nucleotide
dc.subjectGenome, Bacterial
dc.subjectHistory, Medieval
dc.subjectHost-Pathogen Interactions
dc.subjectGenetic Variation
dc.titleAncient genomes reveal a high diversity of Mycobacterium leprae in medieval Europe.
prism.publicationNamePLoS Pathog
dc.contributor.orcidAvanzi, Charlotte [0000-0002-1062-4058]
dc.contributor.orcidKrause-Kyora, Ben [0000-0001-9435-2872]
dc.contributor.orcidSeitz, Alexander [0000-0001-9626-2571]
dc.contributor.orcidHerbig, Alexander [0000-0003-1176-1166]
dc.contributor.orcidInskip, Sarah Alice [0000-0001-7424-2094]
dc.contributor.orcidDangvard Pedersen, Dorthe [0000-0002-4709-9170]
dc.contributor.orcidSingh, Pushpendra [0000-0001-9453-8669]
dc.contributor.orcidStewart, Graham R [0000-0002-6867-6248]
dc.contributor.orcidMolnár, Erika [0000-0001-6660-9239]
dc.contributor.orcidMariotti, Valentina [0000-0002-6956-781X]
dc.contributor.orcidRiga, Alessandro [0000-0002-7240-0009]
dc.contributor.orcidBelcastro, M Giovanna [0000-0002-8932-8509]
dc.contributor.orcidDonoghue, Helen D [0000-0003-3918-5252]
dc.contributor.orcidZakrzewski, Sonia [0000-0003-1796-065X]
dc.contributor.orcidNieselt, Kay [0000-0002-1283-7065]
dc.contributor.orcidCole, Stewart T [0000-0003-1400-5585]
dc.contributor.orcidKrause, Johannes [0000-0001-9144-3920]
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Review

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Except where otherwise noted, this item's licence is described as Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)