Oona Y-C Lee

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Leprosy was endemic in Europe until the Middle Ages. Using DNA array capture, we have obtained genome sequences of Mycobacterium leprae from skeletons of five medieval leprosy cases from the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark. In one case, the DNA was so well preserved that full de novo assembly of the ancient bacterial genome could be achieved through(More)
To the Editor: In 1994, a crypt containing 242 bodies was discovered in Vác, Hungary. Many of the bodies were naturally mummified, including the remains of Terézia Hausmann (referred to as Body 68 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org), who died on December 25, 1797, at 28 years of age.1,2 A chest radiograph(More)
Nine burials excavated from the Magdalen Hill Archaeological Research Project (MHARP) in Winchester, UK, showing skeletal signs of lepromatous leprosy (LL) have been studied using a multidisciplinary approach including osteological, geochemical and biomolecular techniques. DNA from Mycobacterium leprae was amplified from all nine skeletons but not from(More)
The question of pre-neolithic tuberculosis is still open in paleopathological perspective. One of the major interests is to explore what type of infection could have existed around the early stage of animal domestication. Paleopathological lesions evoking skeletal TB were observed on five human skeletons coming from two PPNB sites in Syria, which belongs to(More)
This paper follows the dramatic changes in scientific research during the last 20 years regarding the relationship between the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and its hosts - bovids and/or humans. Once the M. tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis genomes were sequenced, it became obvious that the old story of M. bovis evolving into the human pathogen(More)
Studies on the evolution of tuberculosis, and the influence of this disease on human and animal development and interaction, require the accumulation of indisputable biomarker evidence. Ideally, the determination of full genomes would provide all the necessary information, but for very old specimens DNA preservation may be compromised and only limited DNA(More)
Leprosy was rare in Europe during the Roman period, yet its prevalence increased dramatically in medieval times. We examined human remains, with paleopathological lesions indicative of leprosy, dated to the 6th-11th century AD, from Central and Eastern Europe and Byzantine Anatolia. Analysis of ancient DNA and bacterial cell wall lipid biomarkers revealed(More)
The evolution of tubercle bacilli parallels a route from environmental Mycobacterium kansasii, through intermediate "Mycobacterium canettii", to the modern Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. Cell envelope outer membrane lipids change systematically from hydrophilic lipooligosaccharides and phenolic glycolipids to hydrophobic phthiocerol dimycocerosates,(More)
Many tuberculosis and leprosy infections are latent or paucibacillary, suggesting a long time-scale for host and pathogen co-existence. Palaeopathology enables recognition of archaeological cases and PCR detects pathogen ancient DNA (aDNA). Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae cell wall lipids are more stable than aDNA and restrict(More)
Mannose is an important constituent of the immunomodulatory glycoconjugates of the mycobacterial cell wall: lipoarabinomannan (LAM), lipomannan (LM) and the related phospho-myo-inositol mannosides (PIMs). In Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the related bacillus Corynebacterium glutamicum, mannose is either imported from the medium or derived from glycolysis,(More)