Illuminating the evolutionary history of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC)

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  • Project duration: -
  • Project status: finished
  • Funding:
    Internal funding EURAC (Project)
  • Total project budget: €119,350.00

To date, tuberculosis is one of top ten causes of death in the world. Recent approaches to stop the spread of this disease often fail because of the lack of knowledge about the evolutionary past of its causing agent Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Skeletal changes in ancient human remains prove that tuberculosis has been a scourge of mankind for several thousand years. Yet, investigations on a molecular level remain difficult due to poor conservation and high environmental contamination of samples.

In this project, we aim to reconstruct ancient Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) genomes by using an interdisciplinary approach. First, we aim to optimize an enrichment technique that targets MTBC specific DNA. Next, we will produce high resolution ancient genomic data by next-generation sequencing and apply computational biological tools to understand the onset and development of this pathogen.

Verification of tuberculosis infection among Vác mummies (18th century CE, Hungary) based on lipid biomarker profiling with a new HPLC-HESI-MS approach
Váradi OA, Rakk D, Spekker O, Terhes G, Urbán E, Berthon W, Pap I, Szikossy I, Maixner F, Zink A, Vágvólgyi C, Donoghue H, Minnikin D, Szekeres A, Pálfi G (2021)
Journal article

More information: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tube.2020.102037



Lipid biomarker based verification of TB infection in mother’s and daughter’s mummified human remains (Vác Mummy Collection, 18th century, CE, Hungary)
Váradia OA, Szikossy I, Spekkera O, Rakk D, Terhes G, Urbán E, Berthon W, Pap I, Maixner F, Zink A, Vágvölgyi C, Donoghue HD, Minnikin DE, Pálfi´G, Szekeres A (2020)
Journal article
Acta Biologica Szegediensis

More information: http://abs.bibl.u-szeged.hu/index.php/abs



TB, or not TB, that is the question! Molecular evolutionary analysis of tuberculosis in ancient human remains
Maixner F, Jäger HY, Pap I, Szikossy I, Pálfi G, Zink A (2019)

Conference: Health and Life in Ancient Egypt - Mummies in Focus Conference | Budapest | 27.8.2019 - 30.8.2019


Approche d´enrichissement en solution ciblant l´ADN génomique du complexe Mycobacterium tuberculosis (CMTB) provenant de vestiges humains archéologiques TB-positifs
Jacqueroud C, Maixner F, Granehäll F, Molnár E, Pálfi G, Zink A, Dutour O (2018)
Tuberculosis in early medieval Switzerland: osteological and molecular evidence from Courroux
Cooper C, Fellner R, Heubi O, Maixner F, Zink A, Lösch S (2016)
Journal article
Swiss Medical Weekly



Our partners

Department of Biological Anthropology, University of Szeged, Dugonics Ter, Szeged, Hungary

Hungarian Natural History Museum

Project Team
1 - 3

Heidi Yoko Jäger

Project Manager


1 - 7


Development and centralization of the laboratory infrastructures of the Institute for Mummy Studies ...

Duration: - Funding: FESR (EU funding / Project)

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