Research report 2016 - Max Planck Institute for Geoanthropology
On the trail of historical pestilences: Reconstruction of ancient pathogen genomes of infectious disease
Keller, Marcel; Krause, Johannes
SummaryA project at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is devoted to the genetic reconstruction of various pathogens of past epochs. Using innovative molecular biological methods, it has been possible to reconstruct numerous genomes of the causative agent of plague from the mortal remains of plague victims. The results help to better understand the evolution of the pathogen and open up new insights into (pre-)history. Further studies examine, for example, the origin of tuberculosis in the New World and the evolution of leprosy pathogens.