Campfires and TB

The use of fire by early humans may have triggered the development of tuberculosis as a deadly disease, suggests a study at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

A team of researchers investigated how Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is benign when it lives in soil and water, might have developed into a pathogen which is transmissible between people. Their computer model found that fire increases the risk of just such a mutation. In addition, campfires can cause smoke damage to lungs, making them more vulnerable to infection, and encourage people to congregate, which increases the chance of disease transmission.

Read more in Archaeology from the Archaeological Institute of America

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