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Historic Treponema pallidum genomes from Colonial Mexico retrieved from archaeological remains.


Schuenemann, Verena J; Kumar Lankapalli, Aditya; Barquera, Rodrigo; Nelson, Elizabeth A; Iraíz Hernández, Diana; Acuña Alonzo, Víctor; Bos, Kirsten I; Márquez Morfín, Lourdes; Herbig, Alexander; Krause, Johannes (2018). Historic Treponema pallidum genomes from Colonial Mexico retrieved from archaeological remains. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 12(6):e0006447.

Abstract

Treponema pallidum infections occur worldwide causing, among other diseases, syphilis and yaws. In particular sexually transmitted syphilis is regarded as a re-emerging infectious disease with millions of new infections annually. Here we present three historic T. pallidum genomes (two from T. pallidum ssp. pallidum and one from T. pallidum ssp. pertenue) that have been reconstructed from skeletons recovered from the Convent of Santa Isabel in Mexico City, operational between the 17th and 19th century. Our analyses indicate that different T. pallidum subspecies caused similar diagnostic presentations that are normally associated with syphilis in infants, and potential evidence of a congenital infection of T. pallidum ssp. pertenue, the causative agent of yaws. This first reconstruction of T. pallidum genomes from archaeological material opens the possibility of studying its evolutionary history at a resolution previously assumed to be out of reach.

Abstract

Treponema pallidum infections occur worldwide causing, among other diseases, syphilis and yaws. In particular sexually transmitted syphilis is regarded as a re-emerging infectious disease with millions of new infections annually. Here we present three historic T. pallidum genomes (two from T. pallidum ssp. pallidum and one from T. pallidum ssp. pertenue) that have been reconstructed from skeletons recovered from the Convent of Santa Isabel in Mexico City, operational between the 17th and 19th century. Our analyses indicate that different T. pallidum subspecies caused similar diagnostic presentations that are normally associated with syphilis in infants, and potential evidence of a congenital infection of T. pallidum ssp. pertenue, the causative agent of yaws. This first reconstruction of T. pallidum genomes from archaeological material opens the possibility of studying its evolutionary history at a resolution previously assumed to be out of reach.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:June 2018
Deposited On:09 Aug 2018 15:22
Last Modified:30 Dec 2018 08:10
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1935-2727
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006447
PubMed ID:29927932

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