The genome is from a male who was likely in his late thirties when the historic Mount Vesuvius eruption occurred. The analyses suggest he is related to the diverse Imperial Roman population of the time, and that he may have suffered from spinal tuberculosis.
More than a dozen vaccines for tuberculosis are currently being tested in clinical trials. Some use whole bacteria as BCG does, while others deliver protein subunits or genetic material carried by viral vectors.
As researchers test existing vaccines for nonspecific protection against COVID-19, immunologists are working to understand how some inoculations protect against pathogens they weren’t designed to fend off.