Did Ötzi the 5,300-year-old Tyrolean Iceman have aspergillosis?

When two German tourists found a body frozen in the ice on a ridge in the Alps, they assumed it was a mountaineer and reported it to the police, but an axe frozen alongside him revealed him to in fact be around 5,300 years old.

Ötzi the Tyrolean Iceman is Europe’s oldest known natural mummy. Different causes of death have been debated over the years, including bleeding to death from an arrow wound or being overtaken by a snowstorm. He may have been weakened by hunger, recent illnesses and infestation with parasitic whipworms.

On top of those problems, DNA from Aspergillus (probably fumigatus) was detected in his lungs by Dr Cano of California Polytechnic State University. But it is unclear whether the fungus was causing disease or from post-mortem contamination.

Read more at NY Times

Read more about Ötzi on Wikipedia

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