Applications of Paleomicrobiology to the Understanding of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases

  • Gérard Aboudharam
  • Michel Drancourt
  • Didier Raoult
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology book series (NAPSA, volume 00)


Advanced molecular methods are being applied to the analysis of microbial infections in centuries-old human populations. As evidenced through work using modern animal models of infection, and if extracted under proper conditions, dental pulp can be a good source for well-preserved microbial DNA deposited inside teeth during historical bacteremias. The use of frozen and fixed tissues, bones and teeth as sampling substrates is also discussed. The methods described in this paper, including “suicide PCR”, were used to analyze samples from the remains of human victims of a historical plague outbreak in France. Isolates from this historical outbreak were assigned to specific biotypes of Yersinia pestis based upon an analysis of intergenic spacer DNA.


Polymerase Chain Reaction Dental Pulp Mass Grave Yersinia Pestis Coxiella Burnetii 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gérard Aboudharam
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michel Drancourt
    • 1
  • Didier Raoult
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité des Rickettsies, Faculté de MédecineUniversité de la MéditerranéeMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Unité d’Odontologie Conservatrice, Faculté d’OdontologieUniversité de la MéditerranéeMarseilleFrance

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