New research suggests that the occurrence of tuberculosis infections in the human population happened tens of thousands of years earlier than previously known cases in the Near East. In collaboration with an international research team, Hungarian researchers have released a special edition of the journal and published Tuberculosis.
The Department of Anthropology at the University of Szeged organized a conference on paleopathology and the evolution of tuberculosis in July 2022. The ICEPT3 conference was closely connected to the NRDI-funded research project by György Pálfi (Department of Anthropology, University of Szeged), and the presentations from researchers worldwide provided a comprehensive overview of the history of the pathogen, going beyond previous knowledge.
Recent analyses by György Pálfi, Ildikó Pap, and their colleagues suggest that Neanderthal specimens from the Subalyuk Cave (Hungary), which lived over 32,000 years ago, may have also suffered from a tuberculosis infection. These new scientific discoveries indicate that tuberculosis occurrences in the human population happened tens of thousands of years earlier than the earliest known cases.
The first section of this tuberculosis supplement issue is dedicated to the memory of Professor David Ernest Minnikin, an outstanding tuberculosis evolution scientist and renowned pioneer in mycobacterial research, who passed away in 2021. The articles in the supplement honor his outstanding work and remarkable insights that have enriched both modern and ancient mycobacterial research communities.
All the articles of the volume are available free of charge until January 14, 2024, at the following link (5 studies are Open Access and will remain available for download): https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/tuberculosis/vol/143/suppl/S
The entire conference volume was published in the renowned journal Tuberculosis in December 2023. An outstanding Hungarian-French-Italian collaboration between the University of Szeged, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Eötvös-Loránd University, Université Paris-Saclay, and Eurac Research has resulted in the publication of the latest international research on tuberculosis development.
The volume was edited in international collaboration, thanks to the guest editing of György Pálfi from the University of Szeged (Szeged, Hungary), Olivier Dutour from Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes and CNRS, Université Bordeaux Montaigne (France), Tamás Hajdu from ELTE (Budapest, Hungary), Christophe Sola from Université Paris-Saclay, Université Paris-Cité (France), and Albert Zink from the Institute for Mummy Studies, EURAC Research (Bozen, Italy). Of the 22 included studies, 10 are partially or fully authored by Hungarian researchers.
Gémes, A., et al. (2023). Tuberculosis in the Prehistory of Central Eastern Europe (Hungary) – Chronological and geographical distribution. Tuberculosis. doi.org/10.1016/j.tube.2023.102396.