The postmedieval Latvian oral microbiome in the context of modern dental calculus and modern dental plaque microbial profiles

Alisa Kazarina, Elina Petersone‐Gordina, Janis Kimsis, Jevgenija Kuzmicka, Pawel Zayakin, Žans Griškjans, Guntis Gerhards, Renate Ranka (Coresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Recent advantages in paleomicrobiology have provided an opportunity to investigate the composition of ancient microbial ecologies. Here, using metagenome analysis, we investigated the microbial profiles of historic dental calculus retrieved from archaeological human remains from postmedieval Latvia dated 16–17th century AD and examined the associations of oral taxa and microbial diversity with specific characteristics. We evaluated the preservation of human oral micro-biome patterns in historic samples and compared the microbial composition of historic dental cal-culus, modern human dental plaque, modern human dental calculus samples and burial soil micro-biota. Overall, the results showed that the majority of microbial DNA in historic dental calculus originated from the oral microbiome with little impact of the burial environment. Good preservation of ancient DNA in historical dental calculus samples has provided reliable insight into the composition of the oral microbiome of postmedieval Latvian individuals. The relative stability of the classifiable oral microbiome composition was observed. Significant differences between the micro-biome profiles of dental calculus and dental plaque samples were identified, suggesting microbial adaptation to a specific human body environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number309
Number of pages15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Ancient DNA
  • Dental calculus
  • Dental plaque
  • Metagenomics
  • Oral microbiome

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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