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Effect of different healing stages on stable isotope ratios in skeletal lesions

Curto, Ana, Mahoney, Patrick, Maurer, Anne-France, Barrocas-Dias, Christina, Fernandes, Teresa, Fahy, Geraldine (2020) Effect of different healing stages on stable isotope ratios in skeletal lesions. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 171 . pp. 285-297. ISSN 0002-9483. (doi:doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23958) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:77582)

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Abstract

Introduction: This study compared stable isotope ratios from cortical bone (long bones and ribs) sites that retained evidence of healed or active disease, or healed fracture to isotope ratios from regions on the same bone that did not retain evidence of disease or fractures. Materials and methods: Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope ratios were assessed in 33 skeletons that retained evidence of infectious disease and healed fractures. Samples were taken from active lesions (long bones n=14; ribs n=4), healed lesions (long bones n=10; ribs n=9), or a fracture callus (long bones n=9; ribs n=3). Results were compared to stable isotope ratios calculated for regions on these bones that did not retain evidence of disease or fracture. Results: Long bones with active lesions had a significantly larger δ15N (δ15N=11.1±0.9‰) compared to those without lesions (δ15N=10.7±0.7‰; p=0.02). There were no significant differences in stable isotope ratios when compared between non-lesion and lesion sites in the ribs. Discussion: The increase in δ15N seen in active lesions, when compared with δ15N from non-lesion regions on the same long bone, may be a consequence of altered protein metabolism. This study suggests that stable isotope data can contribute information about diseases in the past, as well as an individuals’ response to diseases in the absence of modern medicine and antibiotics.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23958
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Patrick Mahoney
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2019 11:56 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 04:16 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/77582 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mahoney, Patrick: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2715-3096
Fahy, Geraldine: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1281-1260
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