Washington: Scientists, after analysing dozens of tuberculosis genomes gathered from around the world, are getting a lot more detailed image of why the pathogen is so prevalent and how it evolves to resist countermeasures.A team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Caitlin Pepperell describes a bacterium that marches in lockstep with human population growth and history, evolving to take advantage of the most crowded and wretched human conditions.Senior author Marcus Feldman of Stanford, said that TB experienced a 25-fold expansion worldwide in the 17th century, a time when human populations underwent explosive growth and European exploration of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania was at its peak.Pepperell said that the timing is coincident with expansion, urbanization and colonial migrations of global human populations, asserting that these findings suggest that much of the current TB pandemic has its origins in historical events of the last three centuries.
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