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Dr Michael Knapp and Professor Greg Cook awarded MBIE 2017 Funding

Wednesday 8 November 2017 1:24pm

Dr Michael Knapp, Department of Anatomy, and Professor Greg Cook, Webster Centre Steering Committee Member, University of Otago, NZ were awarded $920,000 MBIE 2017 funding for "TB or not TB - examining the origin and evolution of tuberculosis in the pre-European Pacific".  The origin and antiquity of tuberculosis (TB) in the Pacific is controversial. TB-causing Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) bacteria are thought to have arrived with European sailors or settlers but TB-like lesions in pre-European skeletal remains from across the Pacific contradict this popular view.  They will combine palaeogenetic and macroscopic analyses of pre-European human and animal remains to determine how TB arrived and evolved in the Pacific. This study has the potential to fundamentally alter our understanding of how TB spread around the world and to provide new insights into how MTBC bacteria adapt to human hosts and alter their potential for causing epidemics.