Mummies Of Hungary Help Researchers Gain New Information On Tubercolosis

  • 8 Apr 2015 9:00 AM
Mummies Of Hungary Help Researchers Gain New Information On Tubercolosis
Research carried out on mummies found in the Hungarian town of Vác, north of Budapest, has produced new information in connection with tubercolosis, published in the form of a study in the scientific journal “Nature Communications”.

In some of the mummies, from the 18th-19th centuries, several varieties of the bacteria, all dating back to the late Roman age, were identified, research conducted by the University of Warwick reveals. Three different types of the bacteria were identified in one of the remains, despite the fact that today, generally only one is present in the body of those contaminated with tubercolosis.

“In five out of the eight bodies examined, more than one type of tubercolosis was present, including three in a single body”, Mark Pallen, the leader of research, said. The line of bacteria identified can be traced back to the late Roman age and continues to cause over one million cases of illness in Europe and America every year.

The mummified remains of 265 people, laid to rest in coffins between 1731 and 1838 in a church at Vác, Hungary, were found in 1994. Due to the extremely dry settings, the bodies did not decompose but insteaad underwent natural mummification over time. The findings were extraordinary because detailed inscriptions have survived on those deceased, including their names and dates of death.


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