Does Old Norse dental plaque help explain epidemics?



Mon, 28 Feb 2022 - 10:20 GMT


Mon, 28 Feb 2022 - 10:20 GMT

Ancient Norse Teeth Plaque Helps Explain Pandemics - ancient-origins

Ancient Norse Teeth Plaque Helps Explain Pandemics - ancient-origins

CAIRO – 28 February 2022: A team of Norwegian scientists are currently tracing the development of diseases in medieval bodies.





Scientists have concluded that enteric fever could lead to asymptomatic inflammatory blood disease and infection of the gastrointestinal or urinary tracts could cause septicemia. It is very unlikely to get healed from it, according to the ancient-origins website.





The study relied on samples of the genome retrieved from the 1,200-year-old skeleton of a young woman discovered in Trondheim, northern Norway.





The new findings suggest that Paratyphi C enteric fever may once have had a "widespread impact on human communities".





Study of old epidemics to avoid new ones


Dr. Axel Kristoffersen is Professor of Historical Archeology at the NTNU University Museum in Trondheim. Paratyphi C-containing DNA was found between the old woman's teeth and bones.





This could cause a salmonella infection in the intestines, and the researcher says the woman may have died of enteric fever.





Professor Kristoffersen says that through "deep research" the team of researchers discovered how diseases changed the way medieval populations reacted and behaved. Understanding this may help pathologists understand how SARS-CoV-2 and other epidemics occur and spread, the scientist says.





In turn, governments will be better informed about how to deal with epidemics in the future.





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