The eradication of smallpox, is valid 40 years ago as one of the great success stories of modern medicine. A worldwide vaccination campaign led to the causative agent, the variola virus, orthopox virus, variolae, circulating now in the human population. Last samples of the Virus are kept only in two high-security laboratories in Russia and the United States. But that does not mean that it will never again smallpox can occur. Because, like the Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2, the variola virus has jumped once from an animal to humans. Until today, various types of animal pox virus in camels, rodents, monkeys, and cows exist. "The smallpox, although eradicated, but another tribe might work out for you tomorrow from one of these animal reservoirs the Artsprung," said Co-author Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen. It is all the more important, therefore, to know the origin and the development of the smallpox virus.
But at this point, it was in the past. Because of where and when a person is ill for the first time, the smallpox, and from what animal these viruses came from, is unknown. The earliest secured genetic evidence of a smallpox disease came so far, from a Lithuanian mummy from the 17. Century, as well as two Czech dead from the 19th century. and early 20th century. Century. "However, historical reports of possible smallpox back disorders at least 3000 years," report the researchers Willerslev and first author Barbara Mühlemann from the University of Cambridge and of the Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin. In addition, skin lesions of the 1157 in front of Christ dead Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses V. could go to the pox back. A popular theory is that the smallpox could have, therefore, first in Africa developed and were then registered from the Middle East through trade travellers or returning crusaders to Europe. to winthe detection of smallpox DNA in dead Vikings
For more clarity about the early spread of smallpox in. mill man and her colleagues the genome of 1867 people for traces of smallpox virus DNA by addiction that died before 31.630 up to 150 years in Eurasia and America In 13 of these samples they were able to find. Eleven of them come from Viking graves, which were created between 603 and 1050 in the North of Europe, the UK and Western Russia. Two more smallpox virus carriers died in the 19th century. Century in Russia. Four of the Viking samples, the researchers were able to reconstruct nearly the complete genome of these deaths occurring variola virus. "The 1400-year-old genetic Information from these skeletons is extremely important, because it tells us the evolutionary history of the human smallpox virus," says Willerslev.
The DNA-analyses showed, however, that the Vikings rampant smallpox virus belonged to a different tribe than the modern variola virus. "This early Version of the smallpox is similar to animal pox camel pox or the Taterapocken stronger than the modern smallpox virus," says Co-author Lasse Vinner of the University of Copenhagen. DNA comparisons showed that the Vikings viruses represent a sister group to the modern smallpox virus, skirted, apparently, about 450 years in Northern Europe, but then died out. To find "In the Vikings pox viruses, which are genetically so different, is really remarkable," says the mill's colleague Terry Jones. "No one has expected that such smallpox virus existed in tribes."
Both of this virus variant as well as the stem line of modern smallpox could be the result of the analysis shows that around 1700 years from a common ancestor, and then independently further developed. The comparisons suggest that the old Viking tribes had some of the genes, which opened a wider host range, but may be less aggressive and deadly powers, as the researchers explain. "We don't know how the disease is manifested in the Viking age. You could, however, be different than the virulent modern master, the disfigured hundreds of millions of people and killed," says Vinner. Even if not all of the questions are clarified, the results of this study, valuable new insights into the Evolution of smallpox and its spread in Europe.
source: Barbara Mühlemann (Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany) et al., Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aaw8977
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