Tu­tankhamun Died of Malaria?

In­fec­tion and a malaria out­break prob­a­bly killed Tu­tankhamun, ac­cord­ing to CT scans and DNA test­ing of the boy king's blood.

Science Illustrated - - HISTORY -

The boy king died sud­denly at the age of only 19 in 1323 BC, sug­gest­ing that he could have been mur­dered. In 1968, the sus­pi­cion was con­firmed, when an X-ray of the back of Tu­tankhamun’s head re­vealed two loose bone frag­ments in his skull – po­ten­tially re­sult­ing from a vi­o­lent blow. How­ever, the the­ory was in­val­i­dated in 2006, when a CT scan showed that the in­jury was caused af­ter the king’s death.

Sci­en­tists also found the left thigh­bone to be frac­tured, so in­fec­tion could have con­trib­uted to the pharaoh’s early death, but the di­rect cause was prob­a­bly malaria. A DNA anal­y­sis of the king's blood from 2010 in­cluded the re­mains of malaria par­a­site DNA. More tests showed that Tu­tankhamun suf­fered from the most lethal vari­ant of the dis­ease, Malaria trop­ica. To­gether with a weak­ened im­mune sys­tem due to a hered­i­tary dis­ease and com­plex bone frac­ture, malaria prob­a­bly killed the young king.. PO­TEN­TIAL: Find­ing out why Tu­tankhamun died. CHAL­LENGE: The em­balm­ing and nu­mer­ous ex­am­i­na­tions make it dif­fi­cult to find new ma­te­rial to fi­nally es­tab­lish the cause of death.

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