Only recently was it determined that two of the world's most devastating plagues, the plague of Justinian and the medieval Black Death, were caused by distinct strains of the same pathogen. Use of paleomicrobiological techniques led to this discovery. This work is just one example of the historical mysteries that this emerging field has helped to clarify. Others, such as when tuberculosis began to afflict humans, the role of lice in plague pandemics, and the history of smallpox, are explored and further illuminated in Paleomicrobiology of Humans.
Led by editors Michel Drancourt and Didier Raoult, the book's expert contributors address larger issues using paleomicrobiology. These include the recognition of human remains associated with epidemic outbreaks, identification of the graves of disasters, and the discovery of demographic structures that reveal the presence of an epidemic moment. In addition, the book reviews the technical approaches and controversies associated with recovering and sequencing very old DNA and surveys modern human diseases that have ancient roots.
Essentially, paleomicrobiologists aim to identify past epidemics at the crossroads of different specialties, including anthropology, medicine, molecular biology, and microbiology. Thus, this book is of great interest not only to microbiologists but to medical historians and anthropologists as well.
Paleomicrobiology of Humans is the first comprehensive book to examine so many aspects of this new, multidisciplinary, scientific field.
1 Demographic Patterns Distinctive of Epidemic Cemeteries in Archaeological Samples 1
Dominique Castex and Sacha Kacki
2 Characterization of the Funeral Groups Associated with Plague Epidemics 13
Stéfan Tzortzis and Michel Signoli
3 Paleogenetics and Past Infections: the Two Faces of the Coin of Human Immune Evolution 21
Laurent Abi-Rached and Didier Raoult
4 A Personal View of How Paleomicrobiology Aids Our Understanding of the Role of Lice in Plague Pandemics 29
5 Sources of materials for Paleomicrobiology 39
6 Paleomicrobiology Data: Authentification and Interpretation 51
7 Human Coprolites as a Source for Paleomicrobiology 59
Sandra Appelt, Michel Drancourt, and Matthieu Le Bailly
8 Ancient Resistome 75
Abiola Olumuyiwa Olaitain and Jean-Marc Rolain
9 The History of Epidemic Typhus 81
Emmanouil Angelakis, Yassina Bechah, and Didier Raoult
10 Paleopathology of Human Infections: Old Bones, Antique Books, Ancient and Modern Molecules 93
11 Past Bartonelloses 107
12 Paleomicrobiology Of Human Tuberculosis 113
13 Paleomicrobiology of Leprosy 131
Mark Spigelman and Mauro Rubini
14 Past Intestinal Parasites 143
Matthieu Le Bailly and Adauto Araújo
15 Paleopathology and Paleomicrobiology of Malaria 155
16 History of Smallpox and Its Spread in Human Populations 161
Catherine Thèves, Eric Crubézy, and Philippe Biagini
17 Cholera 173
Donatella Lippi, Eduardo Gotuzzo, and Saverio Caini
18 Human Lice in Paleoentomology and Paleomicrobiology 181
Rezak Drali, Kosta Y. Mumcuoglu, and Didier Raoult