Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in rural areas in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Section Navigation. Minus Related Pages. Plague Transmission Learn more. Ecology and Transmission. Diagnosis and Treatment.
Maps and Statistics. Information for Healthcare Professionals. Frequently Asked Questions. The Justinianic Plague began in in the Eastern Roman Empire, ruled at the time by the Emperor Justinian I, Plague Sequence - Future Sight (CDr), and recurrent outbreaks ravaged Europe and the Mediterranean basin for approximately years. Recent genetic studies revealed that the bacterium Yersinia pestis was the cause of the disease, but how it had spread and how the strains that appeared over the course of the pandemic were related to each other was previously unknown.
In the current Plague Sequence - Future Sight (CDr), an international team of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History analyzed human remains from 21 sites with multiple burials in Austria, Britain, Germany, France and Spain. They were able to reconstruct 8 new Y. Additionally, the team found the earliest genetic evidence of plague in Britain, from the Anglo-Saxon site of Edix Hill.
By using a combination of archaeological dating and the position of this strain of Y. The researchers found that there was a previously unknown diversity of strains of Y. The 8 new genomes came from Britain, France, Germany and Spain. The newly discovered genomes revealed that there were multiple, closely related strains of Y. Despite the greatly increased number of genomes now available, the researchers were not able to clarify the onset of the Justinianic Plague.
However, the fact that all genomes belong to the same lineage is indicative of a Plague Sequence - Future Sight (CDr) of plague in Europe or the Mediterranean basin over this Plague Sequence - Future Sight (CDr) period, instead of multiple reintroductions.
Possible evidence of convergent evolution in strains from two independent historical pandemics. Another interesting finding of the study was that plague genomes appearing towards the end of the First Pandemic showed a big deletion in their genetic code that included two virulence factors.
Plague genomes from the late stages of the Second Pandemic some years later show a similar deletion covering the same region of the genomes.
Such changes may reflect an adaptation to a distinct ecological niche in Western Eurasia where the plague was circulating during both pandemics," explains co-first author Maria Spyrou of the Max Planck Institute for the Science Plague Sequence - Future Sight (CDr) Human History. The current study offers new insights into the first historically documented plague pandemic, and provides additional clues alongside historical, archaeological, and palaeoepidemiological evidence, helping to answer outstanding questions.
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