Biologists at the University of New South Wales came to conclusion that the cause of tuberculosis is controlled fire use in early humans who lived during Pleistocene era (ended about 10 thousand years ago). It was reported by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Researchers concluded that a smoke from fire could make lungs weaker and susceptible to infection by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Previously it was thought that people got the disease from animals more than 10 thousand years ago, but recent data suggest that, on the contrary, people passed pathogenic strains of mycobacteria to mammals.
A computer model of the evolution of mycobacteria revealed that the microorganism was unlikely to be pathogenic in normal environmental conditions. However, if to count susceptibility of people with damaged lungs and increasing of number of social contacts during the time of primitive communal system, the bacteria that originally was not pathogenic, was more likely to get into human body and cause an infection. Biologists emphasize that this is just a theory.
At the same time, we know that the smoke particles have a detrimental effect on the immune system, which protects the lower respiratory tract.