Dr Donoghue's research on TB in Hungarian mummies

3 December 2015


Earlier this year Dr Helen Donoghue, Honorary Lecturer in Clinical Microbiology at UCL, had two papers published in Nature sharing the secrets revealed from the analysis of 18th century mummies from a Hungarian crypt. The story had a wide impact and was even tweeted by Bill Gates!

Since then the team have had several papers published and Helen recently gave a lunchtime seminar on ancient leprosy to Aix-Marseille University Medical School and in December will be in Oslo to examine a PhD candidate on intestinal tuberculosis.

We're very excited to announce that Helen will be giving a UCL Lunchtime Lecture on the 17th of March 2016 titled "Bones, mummies, tuberculosis and ancient DNA". We will give details of this next year.

  • Lewandowska, M., Gładykowska-Rzeczycka, J.J. Molecular studies on ancient M. tuberculosis and M. leprae: methods of pathogen and host analysis. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases 34: 1733-1749. doi:10.1007/s10096-015-2427-5
  • Donoghue, H.D., Spigelman, M., O'Grady, J.O., Szikossy, I., Pap, I., Lee, O.Y.-C., Wu, H.H.T., Besra, G.S., Minnikin, D.E. (2015) Ancient DNA analysis - an established technique in charting the evolution of tuberculosis and leprosy. Tuberculosis 95: S140-S144. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.020
  • Hershkovitz, I., Donoghue, H.D., Minnikin, D.E., May, H., Lee, O.Y.-C., Feldman, M., Galili, E., Spigelman, M., Rothschild, B.M., Bar-Gal, G.K. (2015) Tuberculosis origin: the Neolithic scenario. Tuberculosis 95: S122-S126. doi: 10.1016/ j.tube.2015.02.021.
  • Lee, O.Y.-C., Wu, H.H.T., Besra, G.S., Rothschild, B.M., Spigelman, M., Hershkovitz, I., Kahila Bar-Gal, G., Donoghue, H.D., Minnikin, D.E. (2015) Lipid biomarkers provide evolutionary signposts for the oldest known cases of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis 95: S127-S132. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.013
  • Masson, M., Molnár, E., Donoghue, H.D., Minnikin, D.E., Lee, O.Y.-C., Wu, H.H.T., Besra, G.S., Bull, I.D., Pálfi, G. (2015) 7000 year-old tuberculosis cases from Hungary - osteological and biomolecular evidence. Tuberculosis 95: S13-S17. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.007
  • Minnikin, D.E., Lee, O.Y.-C., Wu, H.H.T., Besra, G.S., Bhatt, A., Nataraja, V., Rothschild, B.M., Spigelman, M., Donoghue, H.D. (2015) Ancient mycobacterial lipids: key reference biomarkers in charting the evolution of tuberculosis. Tuberculosis 95: S133-S139. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.009
  • Molnár, E., Donoghue, H.D., Lee, O.Y-C., Wu, H.H.T., Besra, G.S., Minnikin, D.E., Bull, I.D., Llewellyn, G., Williams, C.M., Spekker, O., Pálfi, G. (2015) Morphological and biomolecular evidence for tuberculosis in 8th century AD skeletons from Bélmegyer-Csömöki domb, Hungary. Tuberculosis 95: S35-S41. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.032
  • Spigelman, M., Donoghue, H.D., Abdeeb, Z., Ereqat, S., Sarie, I., Greenblatt, C.L., Pap, I., Szikossy, I., Hershkovitz, I., Kahila Bar-Gal, G., Matheson, C. (2015) Evolutionary changes in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the human genome from 9000 years BP until modern times. Tuberculosis 95: S145-S149. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.022
  • Szikossy, I., Pálfi, G., Molnár, E., Karlinger, K., Kovács, B., Korom, Cs., Schultz, M., Schmidt-Schultz, T., Spigelman, M., Donoghue, H.D., Kustár, Á., Pap, I. (2015) Two positive TB cases in the late Nigrovits family, 18th century Vác, Hungary. Tuberculosis 95: S69-S72. doi: 10.1016/j.tube.2015.02.015

Helen is also a co-author of an open access book chapter on MTB cell wall lipids with her collaborators from Birmingham:

  • Minnikin, D.E., Lee, O.Y.-C., Wu, H.H.T., Nataraj, V., Donoghue, H.D., Ridell, M., Watanabe, M., Alderwick, L., Bhatt, A., Besra, G.S. (2015). Pathophysiological implications of cell envelope structure in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and related taxa. Chapter 7 in Ribon W, Tuberculosis ­­- Expanding Knowledge. Intech Open Access Publisher, Rijeka, Croatia, 146-175. ISBN 978-953-51-4194-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/59585