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Tuesday, 23 Oct 2018

Ancient origin of virus is revealed after DNA analysis of a mummified child who was killed 500 years ago

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Ancient origin of virus is revealed after DNA analysis of a mummified child who was killed 500 years ago       Ancient origin of virus is revealed after DNA analysis of a mummified child who was killed 500 years ago

News24xx.com -  A child from medieval that her corpse being a mummy, was thought died because hepatitis.


According to the scientists, from analysis of mummified DNA is estimated that she lived in the 16th century. The mummy was found at the Basilica of Saint Domenico Maggiore in Naples and revealing that the child was infected with an ancient hepatitis B (HBV) strain.


The scientists believe that the result of the research may help the ancient origins of diseases that according to report of World Health Organization (WHO) has killed 1.5 million people in a year.


Initially, the scientific analysis (without testing DNA) said the child has been infected by Variola virus. It became the oldest evidence of smallpox in the Middle Ages.


With using sophisticated sequencing techniques, the researchers that led by McMaster University believe if that child is actually infected by HBV.

Many children who has infected by HBV will develop a facial rash, and known as Gianotti-Crosti syndrome.

It may be misidentified as smallpox and has identified as an infectious disease in the past.

Using small tissue samples of skin and bone, scientists then stitch together pieces of genetic information to create a much more complete picture.

And the result is the scientists found a close relationship between ancient and modern HBV strains, and both lost what is known as a temporal structure.


In other words, there is no measurable level of evolution over a 450-year period that separates the mummified samples from modern samples.

By some estimates, more than 350 million people living today have chronic HBV infection while about one-third of the global population has been infected at some point in their lives.

The researchers suggest these findings is underscore about the importance of studying early viruses.


"This data emphasizes the importance of molecular approaches to help identify the existence of key pathogens in the past, allowing us to limit their time to better infect humans," says Hendrik Poinar, an evolutionary geneticist with McMaster Ancient DNA Center and a lead investigator with Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research.


"The more we understand about pandemic behavior and past outbreaks, the greater our understanding of how modern pathogens can work and spread, and this information will ultimately help in their control," he said.


The findings are published online in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

 

 

 

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