Ancient Antibacterial Poop

Ancient Antibacterial Poop

All your life you have been told to wash your hands after going to the bathroom, and many public restrooms provide antibacterial soap. Now you can just dip right into the bowl and feel good about it later.

A little too much “circle of life” for me.

From an article in Heritage Daily

 

Fossilized human feces from 14th century contain antibiotic resistance genes

Anthropology March 2, 2014

A team of French investigators has discovered viruses containing genes for antibiotic resistance in a fossilized fecal sample from 14th century Belgium, long before antibiotics were used in medicine.

“This is the first paper to analyze an ancient DNA viral metagenome,” says Rebecca Vega Thurber of Oregon State University, Corvallis, who was not involved in the research.

The viruses in the fecal sample are phages, which are viruses that infect bacteria, rather than infecting eukaryotic organisms such as animals, plants, and fungi. Most of the viral sequences the researchers found in the ancient coprolite (fossil fecal sample) were related to viruses currently known to infect bacteria commonly found in stools (and hence, in the human gastrointestinal tract), including both bacteria that live harmlessly, and even helpfully in the human gut, and human pathogens, says corresponding author Christelle Desnues of Aix Marseille Université.

“Our evidence demonstrates that bacteriophages represent an ancient reservoir of resistance genes and that this dates at least as far back as the Middle Ages,” says Desnues.

“We were interested in viruses because these are 100 times more abundant than human cells in our bodies, but their diversity is still largely unexplored,” says Desnues. “In the present study, we thus focused on the viral fraction of the coprolite by using, for the first time, a combination of electron microscopy, high-throughput sequencing and suicide PCR approaches.”

I’m just not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I mean we seem to be a constant quest to eliminate bacteria from our lives, yet our digestive system depends upon bacteria to function properly.
Either way looks like the person who gave birth to this was healthy enough, Certainly getting enough to eat.

Howdy Ho everybody.

 

Henry@GhostTheory.com

Follow us on FaceBook for updates and more.

Sponsors