Ancient Bacterial Genomes Reveal a High Diversity of Treponema pallidum Strains in Early Modern Europe

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Majander , K , Pfrengle , S , Kocher , A , Neukamm , J , du Plessis , L , Pla-Diaz , M , Arora , N , Akgul , G , Salo , K , Schats , R , Inskip , S , Oinonen , M , Valk , H , Malve , M , Kriiska , A , Onkamo , P , Gonzalez-Candelas , F , Kuehnert , D , Krause , J & Schuenemann , V J 2020 , ' Ancient Bacterial Genomes Reveal a High Diversity of Treponema pallidum Strains in Early Modern Europe ' , Current Biology , vol. 30 , no. 19 , pp. 3788-3803.e10 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.07.058

Title: Ancient Bacterial Genomes Reveal a High Diversity of Treponema pallidum Strains in Early Modern Europe
Author: Majander, Kerttu; Pfrengle, Saskia; Kocher, Arthur; Neukamm, Judith; du Plessis, Louis; Pla-Diaz, Marta; Arora, Natasha; Akgul, Gulfirde; Salo, Kati; Schats, Rachel; Inskip, Sarah; Oinonen, Markku; Valk, Heiki; Malve, Martin; Kriiska, Aivar; Onkamo, Paivi; Gonzalez-Candelas, Fernando; Kuehnert, Denise; Krause, Johannes; Schuenemann, Verena J.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Cultures
University of Helsinki, Unit of Biodiversity Informatics
University of Helsinki, Biosciences
Date: 2020-10-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 26
Belongs to series: Current Biology
ISSN: 0960-9822
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321258
Abstract: Syphilis is a globally re-emerging disease, which has marked European history with a devastating epidemic at the end of the 15th century. Together with non-venereal treponemal diseases, like bejel and yaws, which are found today in subtropical and tropical regions, it currently poses a substantial health threat worldwide. The origins and spread of treponemal diseases remain unresolved, including syphilis' potential introduction into Europe from the Americas. Here, we present the first genetic data from archaeological human remains reflecting a high diversity of Treponema pallidumin early modern Europe. Our study demonstrates that a variety of strains related to both venereal syphilis and yaws-causing T. pallidum subspecies were already present in Northern Europe in the early modern period. We also discovered a previously unknown T. pallidum lineage recovered as a sister group to yaws- and bejel-causing lineages. These findings imply a more complex pattern of geographical distribution and etiology of early treponemal epidemics than previously understood.
Subject: SYPHILIS SPIROCHETE
DNA-SEQUENCES
ORIGIN
TPRK
YAWS
MANIFESTATIONS
IDENTIFICATION
VISUALIZATION
EPIDEMIOLOGY
ANNOTATION
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
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