Lucia Krakova, Katarina Soltys, Andrea Puskarova, Maria Buckova, Lenka Jeszeova, Marcel Kucharik, Jaroslav Budis, L. Ubomir Orovcik, Tomas Szemes, Domenico Pangallo. The microbiomes of a XVIII century mummy from the castle of Krasna Horka(Slovakia) and its surrounding environment. Environmental Microbiology, 20(9):3294-3308. 2018.
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This microbiological survey was performed to determine the conservation state of a mummy in the Slovak castle of Krasna Horka and its surrounding environment. Culture-dependent identification was coupled with biodegradation assays on keratin, gelatin and cellulose. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) using Illumina platform was used for a deeper microbial investigation. Three environmental samples were collected: from the glass of the sarcophagus, from the air inside it, and from the air of the chapel where the mummy is located. Seven different samples were taken from mummy's surface: from the left ear, left-hand palm, left-hand nail, left instep, right hand, abdomen and mineral crystals embedded within the skin. Three internal organ samples, from the lung, pleura and stomach, were also included in this study. Together, the culture-dependent and culture-independent analyses revealed that the bacterial communities present had fewer taxa than the fungal ones. The mycobiome showed the largest variability and included Epicoccum nigrum, Penicillium spp., Alternaria spp., Aspergillus spp., Cladosporium spp. and Aureobasidium pullulans; many other Ascomycota and Basidiomycota genera were detected by NGS. The most interesting results came from the skin mineral crystals and the internal organs. The hydrolytic assays revealed those microorganisms which might be considered dangerous 'mummy pathogens'. (c) 2018 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.