Origins of TB may lie in humans, not animals: study
The origins of human tuberculosis have been traced back to African hunter-gatherers living 70,000 years ago, scientists claim.health and fitness Updated: Sep 03, 2013 01:56 IST
The origins of human tuberculosis have been traced back to African hunter-gatherers living 70,000 years ago, scientists claim.
The study by an International team of scientists suggests that Tuberculosis (TB) did not originate in animals some 10,000 years ago, spreading to humans, as commonly believed.
Tuberculosis remains one of deadliest infectious diseases of humans, killing 50 per cent of individuals when left untreated, researchers said.
Even today, TB causes 1-2 million deaths every year mainly in developing countries. Multidrug-resistance is a growing threat in the fight against the disease.
Researchers led by Sebastien Gagneux from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) has now identified the origin in time and space of the disease.
Using whole-genome sequencing of 259 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains collected from different parts of the world, they determined the genetic pedigree of the deadly bugs.