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Microbiome ; 8(1): 62, 2020 05 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32375874


BACKGROUND: The archaeological incidence of ancient human faecal material provides a rare opportunity to explore the taxonomic composition and metabolic capacity of the ancestral human intestinal microbiome (IM). Here, we report the results of the shotgun metagenomic analyses of an ancient South African palaeo-faecal specimen. METHODS: Following the recovery of a single desiccated palaeo-faecal specimen from Bushman Rock Shelter in Limpopo Province, South Africa, we applied a multi-proxy analytical protocol to the sample. The extraction of ancient DNA from the specimen and its subsequent shotgun metagenomic sequencing facilitated the taxonomic and metabolic characterisation of this ancient human IM. RESULTS: Our results indicate that the distal IM of the Neolithic 'Middle Iron Age' (c. AD 1460) Bantu-speaking individual exhibits features indicative of a largely mixed forager-agro-pastoralist diet. Subsequent comparison with the IMs of the Tyrolean Iceman (Ötzi) and contemporary Hadza hunter-gatherers, Malawian agro-pastoralists and Italians reveals that this IM precedes recent adaptation to 'Western' diets, including the consumption of coffee, tea, chocolate, citrus and soy, and the use of antibiotics, analgesics and also exposure to various toxic environmental pollutants. CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses reveal some of the causes and means by which current human IMs are likely to have responded to recent dietary changes, prescription medications and environmental pollutants, providing rare insight into human IM evolution following the advent of the Neolithic c. 12,000 years ago. Video Abtract.

Arqueologia , Fezes/microbiologia , Microbioma Gastrointestinal , África Subsaariana , História do Século XV , Humanos , Metagenômica
Ann Hum Biol ; 46(2): 99-108, 2019 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31113254


Background: Simonti et al. reported variation in the frequency of Neanderthal alleles found in modern humans and argued that they may have provided an evolutionary advantage. One such allele is SNP rs3917862, associated with hypercoagulability. rs3917862 can be deleterious, but can also help prevent blood loss. Aim: To investigate two possible selective pressure hypotheses for rs3917862 surviving to higher frequencies: deaths from interpersonal violent trauma and childbirth. Subjects and methods: Mortality data from modern hunter-gatherers models the living conditions and causes of death of humans and Neanderthals at the point of admixture. Results: National census data indicates a positive correlation between the presence of rs3917862 and decreased maternal mortality ratios. When the maternal mortality ratio is modelled using GDP, births attended by skilled assistants and the presence of rs3917862, women are 0.1% more likely to die in childbirth in populations lacking rs3917862. Deaths due to violence show no correlation with rs3917862. Conclusion: These findings challenge the idea that Neanderthal admixture has negatively impacted the overall health of modern humans. Maternal survival may have acted as a selective pressure for the persistence of hypercoagulability alleles in modern Europeans. Understanding the role of hypercoagulability in childbirth, and the role of rs3917862, could help to reduce maternal mortality ratios.

Longevidade/genética , Mães/estatística & dados numéricos , Selectina-P/genética , Abuso Físico/estatística & dados numéricos , Polimorfismo de Nucleotídeo Único/genética , Seleção Genética , Alelos , Animais , Europa (Continente) , Frequência do Gene , Humanos , Homem de Neandertal/genética , Selectina-P/metabolismo , Tanzânia , Trombofilia/genética
Virus Evol ; 3(2): vex026, 2017 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28979799


Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2) is a human herpesvirus found worldwide that causes genital lesions and more rarely causes encephalitis. This pathogen is most common in Africa, and particularly in central and east Africa, an area of particular significance for the evolution of modern humans. Unlike HSV1, HSV2 has not simply co-speciated with humans from their last common ancestor with primates. HSV2 jumped the species barrier between 1.4 and 3 MYA, most likely through intermediate but unknown hominin species. In this article, we use probability-based network analysis to determine the most probable transmission path between intermediate hosts of HSV2, from the ancestors of chimpanzees to the ancestors of modern humans, using paleo-environmental data on the distribution of African tropical rainforest over the last 3 million years and data on the age and distribution of fossil species of hominin present in Africa between 1.4 and 3 MYA. Our model identifies Paranthropus boisei as the most likely intermediate host of HSV2, while Homo habilis may also have played a role in the initial transmission of HSV2 from the ancestors of chimpanzees to P.boisei.

Ann Hum Biol ; 44(5): 397-407, 2017 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28511559


BACKGROUND: The biology of human migration can be observed from the co-evolutionary relationship with infectious diseases. While many pathogens are brief, unpleasant visitors to human bodies, others have the ability to become life-long human passengers. The story of a pathogen's genetic code may, therefore, provide insight into the history of its human host. The evolution and distribution of disease in Africa is of particular interest, because of the deep history of human evolution in Africa, the presence of a variety of non-human primates, and tropical reservoirs of emerging infectious diseases. METHODS: This study explores which pathogens leave traces in the archaeological record, and whether there are realistic prospects that these pathogens can be recovered from sub-Saharan African archaeological contexts. RESULTS: Three stories are then presented of germs on a journey. The first is the story of HIV's spread on the back of colonialism and the railway networks over the last 150 years. The second involves the spread of Schistosoma mansoni, a parasite which shares its history with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the origins of fresh-water fishing. Finally, we discuss the tantalising hints of hominin migration and interaction found in the genome of human herpes simplex virus 2. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence from modern African pathogen genomes can provide data on human behaviour and migration in deep time and contribute to the improvement of human quality-of-life and longevity.

Arqueologia , Evolução Biológica , Migração Humana , África Subsaariana , Distribuição Animal , Animais , Doenças Transmissíveis/epidemiologia , Humanos
Am J Phys Anthropol ; 160(3): 379-88, 2016 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27063929


High quality Altai Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes are revealing which regions of archaic hominin DNA have persisted in the modern human genome. A number of these regions are associated with response to infection and immunity, with a suggestion that derived Neanderthal alleles found in modern Europeans and East Asians may be associated with autoimmunity. As such Neanderthal genomes are an independent line of evidence of which infectious diseases Neanderthals were genetically adapted to. Sympathetically, human genome adaptive introgression is an independent line of evidence of which infectious diseases were important for AMH coming in to Eurasia and interacting with Neanderthals. The Neanderthals and Denisovans present interesting cases of hominin hunter-gatherers adapted to a Eurasian rather than African infectious disease package. Independent sources of DNA-based evidence allow a re-evaluation of the first epidemiologic transition and how infectious disease affected Pleistocene hominins. By combining skeletal, archaeological and genetic evidence from modern humans and extinct Eurasian hominins, we question whether the first epidemiologic transition in Eurasia featured a new package of infectious diseases or a change in the impact of existing pathogens. Coupled with pathogen genomics, this approach supports the view that many infectious diseases are pre-Neolithic, and the list continues to expand. The transfer of pathogens between hominin populations, including the expansion of pathogens from Africa, may also have played a role in the extinction of the Neanderthals and offers an important mechanism to understand hominin-hominin interactions well back beyond the current limits for aDNA extraction from fossils alone. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:379-388, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Doenças Transmissíveis/genética , Doenças Transmissíveis/imunologia , Genoma/genética , Genoma/imunologia , Homem de Neandertal/genética , Homem de Neandertal/imunologia , Animais , Antropologia Física , Doenças Transmissíveis/história , Doenças Transmissíveis/microbiologia , Evolução Molecular , Fósseis , Genômica , História Antiga , Humanos