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Institute of Evolutionary Medicine (IEM)

Origins of treponemal diseases

Summary of Research

Treponemal diseases are prevalent worldwide, in particular syphilis appears as a global threat that is currently re-emerging. However, the origins of these diseases remain unknown and heavily debated. In this project, we work on ancient and modern Treponema pallidum samples to reconstruct the past and modern diversity of the different subspecies.

Facilities used

Clean room facilities, modern DNA laboratories, Functional Genomic Centre Zürich

Project Collaboration

  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Krause (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History/Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Tübingen)
  • Dr. Natasha Arora (Forensic Medicine, UZH)
  • Dr. Sébastien Calvignac-Spencer (Epidemiology of Highly Pathogenic Microorganisms & Viral Evolution, Robert Koch Institute)
  • Prof. Dr. Kay Nieselt (Centre for Bioinformatics, University of Tübingen)

Selected Published Articles