Project agreement no.:
Partners: APP Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (lead partner) 
Implementation period: 1 March 2017 - 29 February 2020 (36 months)
Project costs, University of Latvia: EUR 648 648.24 (ERDF contribution: EUR 551 351.00; state budget contribution: EUR 48 648.62; University of Latvia contribution: EUR 129 730.64 LU līdzfinansējums 9728,80 EUR) 
Principal investigator: Dr. biol. R. Ranka 
Principal investigator from UL: Dr. hist. Guntis Gerhards, 
Project administrator: Laureta Buševica, 

The aim of the current project is to estimate the possible impact of the soil microbiome on the ancient DNA studies and to evaluate the presence of M. tuberculosis genome in microbiome samples of human remains from the 15th -18th centuries. To achieve this complex aim a fundamental, collaborative and interdisciplinary research is planned involving scientists of Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre and University of Latvia, Latvian Institute of History which has an expertise in Molecular biology and biomedicine and Archeology sectors. In this project the extent and nature of the environment mycobacteria and broader bacterial content of human archaeological skeletons will be assessed. In addition, Next-generation sequencing-based analytical regime to the detection of M. tuberculosis complex DNA in bone and tooth samples from individuals from Latvia will be applied. Altogether, this project will help to understand the extent to which archaeological samples are contaminated with environmental bacteria – the knowledge that is urgently needed in ancient pathogen research. In addition, this project will attempt to detect and characterize the ancient M. tuberculosis DNA that will help to confirm and improve paleopathological diagnosis and will bring the insight to the evolution processes of M. tuberculosis in Latvia.

Details of project implementation