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Molecular Disease characterization in a pre-Columbian Indigenous population of Punta Candelero, Puerto Rico.

Author(s): Gabriela Roman Buso ; Ashley A. Matchett ; Juan Carlos Martínez-Cruzado ; Edwin Crespo Torres

Year: 2017

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Skeletal remains belonging to a Late Saladoid population from Punta Candelero site (AD 640-1200), southeast Puerto Rico were used for the detection of Pathogens. Previous studies have established the presence of trace genetic indicators of molecular disease in skeletal remains, such as syphilis and tuberculosis, with associated history or pathology. In this study, we are investigating the presence of various pathogens associated with pre-Columbian Indigenous populations of Puerto Rico. Paleopathology and preservation were a significant factor in sample selection. Characterization of the pathogen component of the ancient DNA was initially directed toward the detection of oral infections consistent with paleopathology and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) hypothesized to be widespread amongst the population. NTDs are a group of bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases, caused by known pathogens often with an unknown phylogenetic origin. Using sensitive ancient DNA amplification and sequencing techniques we have assayed this population to determine a pathogen Index for each individual and the population overall. We present preliminary results in compliment to existing archaeological information on the disease dynamics of this indigenous population to generate a comprehensive picture of the islands’ complex pre-Columbian past.

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Molecular Disease characterization in a pre-Columbian Indigenous population of Punta Candelero, Puerto Rico.. Gabriela Roman Buso, Ashley A. Matchett, Juan Carlos Martínez-Cruzado, Edwin Crespo Torres. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428967)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17206

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America