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Maiden shows signs of TB-like infection

Analysis of Incan mummy captures information about immune system activity

As if being a human sacrifice weren’t bad enough, a teenager may have been fighting off tuberculosis before being killed on top of a South American volcano 500 years ago.

As she climbed to her death, the immune system of a 15-year-old Incan girl known as the Maiden was combating a bacterial infection caused by a type of Mycobacterium, an analysis indicates. Angelique Corthals, a forensic anthropologist at the City University of New York, and colleagues report the findings online July 25 in PLoS One.

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