Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The influence of changes in population structures of modern humans and human pathogens is likely reciprocal. In my opinion, a quantitative approach to study this co-influence in a historical perspective requires, in particular, adequate estimators of genetic distances that are well developed for human but not yet for microbial populations. Here, I propose a simple measure of genetic distance between geographic populations within a microbial species based on the observed difference in the frequencies of its genotypes. Further, I apply the proposed method to principal components analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and interpret the geographic distribution of its VNTR haplotypes in the light of human historical and recent migrations. The proposed approach may be helpful for a quantitative understanding of human-microbial interactions that constitute an integral part of the global history.