Colorized microscope image of the pathogen Salmonella enteritidis. Photo by Jean Guard, ARS
Salmonella The culprit for one of the most deadly epidemics from Mexico

The 16th century was a dark time for what is now Mexico. A deadly epidemic was at loose, with terrifying symptoms: fever, liver damage, bleeding nose and years. It is estimated that it killed 45% of the population, but the cause of this has never been identified.

Now, a new study suggests the culprit is not an Ebola-like microbe, but rather the common Slamonella that usually gives food sickness. The conclusion is based on DNA extracted from skeletons of people that have lived at that time. Likely, the Spanish that arrived in Mexico in the 16th century carried the bacteria.

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