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New publication in PLOS pathogens co-authored by ADBOU staff

Ancient genomes reveal a high diversity of Mycobacterium leprae in medieval Europe 

13 May 2018

Read about the study in The Guardian, 10 May 2018:

New study suggests leprosy came from Europe

Original publication:

"Ancient genomes reveal a high diversity of Mycobacterium leprae in medieval Europe"; Scheunemann et al.; PLOS Pathogens; 2018.


ADBOU contribution to Nature Communications paper

Ancient DNA study reveals HLA susceptibility locus for leprosy in medieval Europeans

5 May 2018

A new study by Krause-Kyora et al. published in Nature Communications identifies predisposition for leprosy in Europeans.

The first case-control study based on ancient DNA (aDNA) with Jesper Boldsen, Dorthe Dangvard Pedersen and Peter Tarp from ADBOU on the list of authors used data from  bone samples of 85 especially severe cases of leprosy from the leprosarium in Odense dated to the  the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and 223 medieval Danish and Northern German skeletons were used as controls.

Read more about the results in the press release from CAU Kiel University:

Genetic predisposition for leprosy identified in Europeans

Original publication:

"Ancient DNA study reveals HLA susceptibility locus for leprosy in medieval Europeans"; Ben Krause-Kyora et al.; Nature Communications; 2018

Photo: Dorthe Dangvard Pedersen/ADBOU
Photo: Dorthe Dangvard Pedersen/ADBOU

ADBOU is the Unit of Anthropology at the Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Southern Denmark in Odense. We are one of two state institutions in Denmark that curates human skeletal remains from archaeological excavations. More than 15,000 skeletons, dated from Viking age to early modern times (approx. AD 800 - 1800) are stored in the collection.

At ADBOU we offer advice before, during and after the excavation of skeletons. We examine skeletons for basic data collection and as part of research projects. We use the skeletons for teaching students, school children and others with interest in human health, biology and life in the past. Furthermore we handle the forensic anthropological cases brought to the Institute of Forensic Medicine.