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Collapse of Aztec society linked to catastrophic salmonella outbreak

The Department of Anthropology's Hendrik Poinar featured in a Nature International Journal of Science article | DNA of 500-year-old bacteria is first direct evidence of an epidemic — one of humanity's deadliest — that occurred after Spanish conquest.

Feb 17, 2017

One of the worst epidemics in human history, a sixteenth-century pestilence that devastated Mexico’s native population, may have been caused by a deadly form of salmonella from Europe, a pair of studies suggest.

In one study, researchers say they have recovered DNA of the stomach bacterium from burials in Mexico linked to a 1540s epidemic that killed up to 80% of the country's native inhabitants. The team reports its findings in a preprint posted on the bioRxiv server on...

Read the full article in Nature International Journal of Science