INFECTIOUS DISEASES IN PALEOPATHOLOGY: A METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH TO EPIDEMIOLOGICAL SITUATIONS

Mauro Rubini, Nunzia Libianchi, Alessandro Gozzi, Paola Zaio, Elena Dell¨

Abstract


The study of infectious diseases in the past is a very interesting and important topic. In the last years a series of new tools were used in Paleopathology in order to increase the reliability of the results. The aim of our research was to present a suggestion for the approach to the study of infectious diseases in the past. This methodology is based on interdisciplinary bases and is divided into four steps: excavation, macroscopic analysis of bone or mummified remains, molecular analysis to confirm the presence of the pathogen or for its discovery from scratch and observation of mortality curves for evaluate the demographic impact of the disease. Through the complementary use of these four steps, results can be obtained that can increase the level of reliability of the clinical evaluation and of the spread of an infectious disease.

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