Evidence for tuberculosis in 18th/19th century slaves in Anse Sainte-Marguerite (Guadeloupe - French Western Indies)

Lösch, Sandra; Kim, Mi-Ra; Dutour, Olivier; Courtaud, Patrice; Maixner, Frank; Romon, Thomas; Sola, Christophe; Zink, Albert (2015). Evidence for tuberculosis in 18th/19th century slaves in Anse Sainte-Marguerite (Guadeloupe - French Western Indies). Tuberculosis, 95 Suppl 1, S65-S68. Elsevier 10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.006

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During the American colonization in the 18th and 19th century, Africans were captured and shipped to America. Harsh living and working conditions often led to chronic diseases and high mortality rates. Slaves in the Caribbean were forced to work mainly on sugar plantations. They were buried in cemeteries like Anse Sainte-Marguerite on the isle of Grande-Terre (Guadeloupe) which was examined by archaeologists and physical anthropologists. Morphological studies on osseous remains of 148 individuals revealed 15 cases with signs for bone tuberculosis and a high frequency of periosteal reactions which indicates early stages of the disease. 11 bone samples from these cemeteries were analysed for ancient DNA. The samples were extracted with established procedures and examined for the cytoplasmic multicopy β-actin gene and Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex DNA (IS 6110) by PCR. An amplification product for M. tuberculosis with the size of 123 bp was obtained. Sequencing confirmed the result. This study shows evidence of M. tuberculosis complex DNA in a Caribbean slave population.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Lösch, Sandra

Subjects:

500 Science > 560 Fossils & prehistoric life
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
900 History > 990 History of other areas

ISSN:

1873-281X

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Antoinette Angehrn

Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2015 14:32

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 01:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.006

PubMed ID:

25754341

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Ancient DNA, Bones, Guadeloupe, M. tuberculosis, Slaves

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.64864

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/64864

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