A descoberta – O que Dizimou os Astecas


500 anos depois, o que era uma incógnita se tornou uma evidência Clara do que matou 80% da população Asteca

Durante quase quinhentos anos, a ciência procurou explicações e tentou entender o que dizimou a população asteca, o povo indígena do México.

Sabemos que teve a invasão dos europeus.

Havia várias teorias para a epidemia, conhecida apenas por ‘cocoliztli’ – ‘pestilência’, na língua náuatle – poderia ser varíola, sarampo, caxumba e até mesmo gripe. E finalmente cientistas alemães descobriram que foi a febre entérica – também conhecida como febre tifoide.

Causada por uma variedade da bactéria salmonela, a febre tifoide matou 15 milhões de astecas em 5 anos, entre 1545 e 1550 – o correspondente a 80% da população.

AshildldVagene, co-autor do estudo publicado no periódico científico Nature Ecology and Evolution, explicou ao jornal inglês The Guardian que a cocoliztli não foi, porém, a única praga que atingiu a região na época. “A cocoliztli de 1545-50 foi uma das muitas epidemias que afetaram o México depois da chegada dos europeus”, afirmou.

Com a extração de DNA de 29 esqueletos enterrados em um cemitério da época da cocoliztli; neles, os cientistas descobriram traços da bactérica salmonela entérica – que não só causa a febre entérica como também estava presente na Europa na mesma época.



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