Scientists Identify “Black Death” as Yersinia pestis Bacteria

A team of German and Canadian scientists have identified the Yersinia pestis bacteria as the culprit in the Black Death (the plague that swept Europe and Asia killing 1/3 of the population).

By examining DNA bacteria from medieval plague victims, scientists believe that they have properly identified the bacterium that so readily swept through Europe.

The findings have been published in this month’s Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences, you can also find a summary in Science Daily.

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2 thoughts on “Scientists Identify “Black Death” as Yersinia pestis Bacteria

  1. Michelle Nelson

    I remember reading that the Mongol (I think) armies would fling the dead, infected with the disease, over walls of their enemies. It was a germ warfare if you will. This makes since for the disease to spread from human to human. I don’t recall them tossing rats over the walls of their enemies, but who knows! Maybe in a Monty Python sketch they would.

    Reply

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