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Kansenshogaku Zasshi. 2003 Mar;77(3):146-9.

Outbreak of tuberculosis in a 2000-year-old Chinese population.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan.


The molecular identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA in ancient human remains has been achieved mainly in mummies with macroscopic changes but not in the skeletons without bone tuberculosis. Using polymerase chain reaction studies, we identified mycobacterial DNA in 2000-year-old human skeletons without pathological changes. Our findings suggest that these people suffered from an outbreak of tuberculosis. Molecular examinations for mycobacterial DNA in the bone marrow of skeletons may contribute to the clarification of ancient diseases in old human populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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