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The impact of burial environmental microbiome on biomolecular archeology and the ancient tuberculosis research



Project Title:The impact of burial environmental microbiome on biomolecular archeology and the ancient tuberculosis research.

Funding: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Measure “Industry-Driven Research”

Project Nr.:

Period: 1st March 2017 – 29th  February 2020

Project costs: 648 648,24 EUR

Principle Investigator: Dr. biol. R. Ranka

Collaboration: Institute of Latvian History, University of Latvia


The aim of the current project is to estimate the possible impact of the soil microbiome on the ancient DNA studies and to evaluate the presence of M. tuberculosis genome in microbiome samples of human remains from the 15th -18th centuries. To achieve this complex aim a fundamental, collaborative and interdisciplinary research is planned involving scientists of Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre and University of Latvia, Latvian Institute of History which has an expertise in Molecular biology and biomedicine and Archeology sectors. In this project the extent and nature of the environment mycobacteria and broader bacterial content of human archaeological skeletons will be assessed. In addition, Next-generation sequencing-based analytical regime to the detection of M. tuberculosis complex DNA in bone and tooth samples from individuals from Latvia will be applied. Altogether, this project will help to understand the extent to which archaeological samples are contaminated with environmental bacteria – the knowledge that is urgently needed in ancient pathogen research. In addition, this project will attempt to detect and characterize the ancient M. tuberculosis DNA that will help to confirm and improve paleopathological diagnosis and will bring the insight to the evolution processes of M. tuberculosis in Latvia. 

Information published: 01.03.2017.


June 1, 2017 - August 31, 2017.

Ancient DNA isolation from the first samples of antropological remains dated by 15th-18th century has been performed. The biomolecular analysis of the obtained aDNA samples has been started. The bioarcheological examination of burial environment has been continued and DNA isolation from soil samples has be performed followed by microbiome analysis. A bioinformatic analysis pipeline suitable for the specific needs of this project has been updated. The bioinformatic analysis of the first obtained data has been started.

Information published: 31.08.2017.

Mājas lapas izstrādi finansēja ERAF aktivitātes projekts Nr. 2010/0196/2DP/ "Latvijas biomedicīnas pētījumu integrācija Eiropas zinātnes telpā".