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Commensal and Pathogenic Members of the Dental Calculus Microbiome of Badia Pozzeveri Individuals from the 11th to 19th Centuries

Diversigen Inc., Houston, TX 77021, USA
Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, Division of Paleopathology, University of Pisa, 56128 Pisa, Italy
Department of Civilizations and Forms of Knowledge, University of Pisa, 56128 Pisa, Italy
Laboratory of Molecular Archaeo-Anthropology/ancient DNA, School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
Department of Anthropology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 31901, USA
Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR 00931, USA
The BioCollective, Denver, CO 80014, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(4), 299;
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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The concept of the human oral microbiome was applied to understand health and disease, lifestyles, and dietary habits throughout part of human history. In the present study, we augment the understanding of ancient oral microbiomes by characterizing human dental calculus samples recovered from the ancient Abbey of Badia Pozzeveri (central Italy), with differences in socioeconomic status, time period, burial type, and sex. Samples dating from the Middle Ages (11th century) to the Industrial Revolution era (19th century) were characterized using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene V4 region. Consistent with previous studies, individuals from Badia Pozzeveri possessed commensal oral bacteria that resembled modern oral microbiomes. These results suggest that members of the oral microbiome are ubiquitous despite differences in geographical regions, time period, sex, and socioeconomic status. The presence of fecal bacteria could be in agreement with poor hygiene practices, consistent with the time period. Respiratory tract, nosocomial, and other rare pathogens detected in the dental calculus samples are intriguing and could suggest subject-specific comorbidities that could be reflected in the oral microbiome. View Full-Text
Keywords: ancient microbiomes; dental calculus; oral microbiome; respiratory pathogens ancient microbiomes; dental calculus; oral microbiome; respiratory pathogens

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Santiago-Rodriguez, T.M.; Fornaciari, A.; Fornaciari, G.; Luciani, S.; Marota, I.; Vercellotti, G.; Toranzos, G.A.; Giuffra, V.; Cano, R.J. Commensal and Pathogenic Members of the Dental Calculus Microbiome of Badia Pozzeveri Individuals from the 11th to 19th Centuries. Genes 2019, 10, 299.

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