Anthropological Review (Jul 2014)

Mycolic Acids as Markers of Osseous Tuberculosis in the Neolithic Skeleton from Kujawy Region (Central Poland)

  • Borowska-Strugiń Beata,
  • Druszczyńska Magdalena,
  • Lorkiewicz Wiesław,
  • Szewczyk Rafał,
  • Ządzińska Elzbieta

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 77, no. 2
pp. 137 – 149


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The subject of analysis is the male skeleton from a double burial of the Globular Amphora Culture, derived from the Neolithic site at Brześć Kujawski in Kujawy region (central Poland). Within the spine of the individual advanced lesions are observed (destruction of the vertebral bodies, symptoms of the periostitis in the thoracic region) which are characteristic of skeletal tuberculosis. To check whether the observed morphological changes resulted from infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), the bone material was tested positively for the presence of mycolic acids, the specific components of the cell wall of pathogenic M.tb bacilli, by mass spectrometry.