Publications by authors named "Alena Nemecková"

4 Publications

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A very rare case of possible actinomycosis of the mandible from the Middle Ages.

Int J Paleopathol 2020 12 16;31:53-59. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

Laboratory of Biological and Molecular Anthropology, Department of Experimental Biology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, 625 00, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Objective: Documented cases of actinomycosis in archaeological skeletons are very rare, especially from Central Europe. Our contribution will help facilitate the differential diagnosis of this disease for other paleopathologists.

Material: This paper describes a pathological finding of the skeleton of a 40-year-old male from a burial ground in Sady-Špitálky (Czech Republic) dated to the 10th-12th century.

Methods: The affected skeleton was evaluated as a probable case of actinomycosis on the basis of a detailed macroscopic, X-ray and histological examination. The osteolytic foci examined were compared with similar changes caused by tuberculosis, syphilis and mycoses.

Results: The character and location of the defect on the mandible is indicative of organ actinomycosis and is also reflected by the lytic lesion observed on a lumbar vertebra.

Conclusions: The described case can be considered one of the very rare paleopathological findings of possible actinomycosis in humans in Central Europe.

Significance: Good evidence of bone actinomycosis findings may be beneficial for further paleopathological and epidemiological studies, especially for research focused on the diachronic development of actinomycosis in Europe. In doing so, all available factors, such as hygiene habits, nutrition, social structure and overall health of the population that could be causally related to its origin, course and treatment, can be taken into account.

Limitations: The mandible of the studied individual was damaged, especially in the area affected by the lesion, so the paleopathological analysis was difficult to perform.

Suggestion For The Future Research: In future, actinomycosis in this skeleton may be confirmed by bio-molecular analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2020.09.001DOI Listing
December 2020

Multiple occurrence of premature polyarticular osteoarthritis in an early medieval Bohemian cemetery (Prague, Czech Republic).

Int J Paleopathol 2020 09 14;30:35-46. Epub 2020 May 14.

CNRS, UMR 5199 PACEA, Université de Bordeaux, Bât. B8, Allée Geoffroy St Hilaire, CS 50023, 33615 Pessac Cedex, France; Department of Archaeology, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Objectives: To highlight conditions that may cause early-onset degenerative joint disease, and to assess the possible impact of such diseases upon everyday life.

Material: Four adults aged under 50 years from a medieval skeletal collection of Prague (Czechia).

Methods: Visual, osteometric, X-ray, and histological examinations, stable isotope analysis of bone collagen.

Results: All four individuals showed multiple symmetrical degenerative changes, affecting the majority of joints of the postcranial skeleton. Associated dysplastic deformities were observed in all individuals, including bilateral hip dysplasia (n = 1), flattening of the femoral condyles (n = 3), and substantial deformation of the elbows (n = 3). The diet of the affected individuals differed from the contemporary population sample.

Conclusions: We propose the diagnosis of a mild form of skeletal dysplasia in these four individuals, with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia or type-II collagenopathy linked to premature osteoarthritis as the most probable causes.

Significance: Combining the skeletal findings with information from the medical literature, this paper defines several characteristic traits which may assist with the diagnosis of skeletal dysplasia in the archaeological record.

Limitations: As no genetic analysis was performed to confirm the possible kinship of the individuals, it is not possible to definitively assess whether the individuals suffered from the same hereditary condition or from different forms of skeletal dysplasia.

Suggestions For Further Research: Further studies on premature osteoarthritis in archaeological skeletal series are needed to correct the underrepresentation of these mild forms of dysplasia in past populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2020.04.004DOI Listing
September 2020

Tumors in the 18th and 19th centuries at Brno, Czech Republic.

Anthropol Anz 2013 ;70(4):385-405

Symptoms signs of benign and malignant tumors were observed during paleopathological analysis of skeletal remains from the city of Brno in the Czech Republic. Approximately 1,200 skeletons were examined from two Modern era archaeology sites: the Malá Nová ulice (Little New Street) cemetery and the cemetery of the Nemocnice Milosrdných bratrí (Merciful Brothers' Hospital). Osteomas, usually located on the flat bones of the cranial vault, were the most frequent skeletal pathology. Symptoms signs of malignant tumors were observed in three cases. In one case lytic foci caused by the metastases of a malignant tumor in the soft tissue was observed. Traces of myeloma multiplex were found in two individuals. Living conditions in that period, and possible carcinogenic environmental influences were assessed for the general population of Brno. This report contributes to a better understanding of the historical development of cancers and the clarification of possible causes for their modern increase of incidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0003-5548/2013/0343DOI Listing
April 2014

Paleopathological find of a sacral neurilemmoma from ancient Egypt.

Am J Phys Anthropol 2004 Dec;125(4):320-8

Institute for the History of Medicine and Foreign Languages, First Medical Faculty, Charles University, 121 08 Prague 2, Czech Republic.

A large, smooth-walled cavity molded from the pressure of a relatively hard, globular, and lobulated tissue mass was found inside the sacrum of the mature female, Imakhetkherresnet. She was the sister of the lector-priest Iufaa, whose unmolested tomb dates to the late 26th Dynasty (prior to 625 BC). The origin of the lesion could be determined unambiguously by macroscopic, radiographic, and histological analysis. It was caused by a neurilemmoma (schwannoma, neurinoma), a benign tumor originating in a nerve sheath. This is the first description in the paleopathological literature of this kind of tumor occurring in the sacrum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.10404DOI Listing
December 2004