This discovery sheds light on the evolution of the E. coli bacterium, its role in our diet, and potential antibiotic resistance.
Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli, is a type of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. Most E. coli bacteria are harmless, but some can cause serious food poisoning and digestive problems. ancient origins.
Carefully studied since the 19th century, the history of the pathogen E. coli eluded scientists for a long time, but in the course of their new study, the experts made a breakthrough. So Canadian scientists have extracted the genetic code of E. coli from a 436-year-old Italian mummy. Taking the mummy of the Neapolitan nobleman Giovanni d’Avalos, who died in 1586 at the age of 48, scientists conducted the first-of-its-kind genetic analysis of an ancient strain of this bacterium.
In particular, they found an infection in the gallstone. Experts were able to isolate and genetically sequence the microbe. But what remains unclear is whether this E. coli was the cause of the nobleman’s death. To find out, further research is needed.
Bacteria necessary for good bowel function and digestion are especially active during periods of illness or immunodeficiency. There are several types of Escherichia coli. For example, those bacteria found in the colon are good bacteria that help us digest food, while bad bacteria can cause stomach pain, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and even kidney failure.
“When we started studying these remains, we had no evidence that the man had E. coli. Unlike an infection such as smallpox, there are no physiological manifestations. Nobody knew what it was,” explained the lead author of the new research scientist George Long at McMaster University.
E. coli Giovanni
In the nobleman’s case, the research team found thickened gallbladder walls and several intact gallstones, indicating cholecystitis caused by a chronic bacterial infection. This was also confirmed by the typical brown color of the gallstone, indicating a bacterial infection.
Researchers have extracted DNA from a gallstone and reconstructed the E. coli genome. Long added that this particular strain of E. coli could thrive in a favorable environment and compete with other bacteria. In this case, the medium was Giovanni’s gallbladder.
This groundbreaking discovery sheds new light on the evolution of E. coli bacteria, its role in our diet, and potential antibiotic resistance.
Recall that Previously, scientists have learned the place of origin of the Black Death. In this they were helped by a genetic study of the remains of people who died from the epidemic in 1338 and 1339. As it turned out, the birthplace of the epidemic was in Central Asia.