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Genes 2019, 10(4), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10040299

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

1
Diversigen Inc., Houston, TX 77021, USA
2
Department of Translational Research on New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, Division of Paleopathology, University of Pisa, 56128 Pisa, Italy
3
Department of Civilizations and Forms of Knowledge, University of Pisa, 56128 Pisa, Italy
4
Laboratory of Molecular Archaeo-Anthropology/ancient DNA, School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
5
Department of Anthropology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 31901, USA
6
Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan 00931, Puerto Rico
7
The BioCollective, Denver, CO 80014, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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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Abstract

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.
Keywords: ancient microbiomes; dental calculus; oral microbiome; respiratory pathogens ancient microbiomes; dental calculus; oral microbiome; respiratory pathogens
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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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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