Medieval plague bacteria strain probably extinct
This flea, X. cheopis, is responsible for transmitting the bacteria strain that causes plague.
August 30th, 2011
05:34 PM ET

Medieval plague bacteria strain probably extinct

Modern  outbreaks – swine flu, bird flu, SARS – have been scary and deadly, but they don't hold a candle to a plague called the Black Death. The disease killed an estimated one-third of Europe's population, perhaps 100 million people.

It's been a while, but scientists are now figuring out what caused the Black Death - at least, the one that swept through Europe from 1347 to 1351. They found evidence of the bacterium Yersinia pestis in the teeth of some of the medieval victims of the plague. Results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers screened more than 100 skeletal remains dating from 1348 to 1350 in the East Smithfield mass burial site, located in London, a place where plague victims were known to be buried.

They found a variation of Yersinia pestis that may no longer exist, as it has never been previously reported, study authors said. That suggests that this did not result from contamination from modern bacteria.

There had been some debate about whether there was some other explanation for the medieval plague, such as a different pathogen or bacterium.

The medieval plague is considered the second of three - the first was the Plague of Justinian in 541 A.D., and the third was noted in the 20th century; that disease represents about 2,000 cases per year, worldwide, on average.

A different form of Yersinia pestis is considered the cause of the plague that still exists today. As in the days of knights and castles, modern outbreaks of plague are associated with infected rats and rat fleas, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

In the United States, plague cases in humans mostly occur in parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, California, Oregon and Nevada. Internationally, it can be found in Africa, Asia and South America. The plague can still be deadly without proper care, but antibiotics can fight it off.

Given that the World Health Organization has said that plague is a "reemerging infectious disease," further study of the spread of the older version may be worthwhile.

soundoff (528 Responses)
  1. LebnEncox

    Celexa https://xlnpharmacy.com/ canadian pharmacies without prescriptions

    May 24, 2021 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. LebnEncox

    pharmacy online cheap pharmacy without dr prescriptions price pro pharmacy canada

    May 24, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. AnooEncox

    viagra wrist watch http://llviagra.com/ md u com viagra

    May 24, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. GtnbCrulk

    viagra dosing http://jokviagra.com/ best place to buy viagra online forum

    May 24, 2021 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Zisseloh

    what is the generic name for cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ – does daily cialis lower blood pressure do you need a prescription for cialis in canada

    May 25, 2021 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ZisseVed

    order cialis in australia https://krocialis.com/ – how can i get cialis fast when cialis doesnt work

    May 26, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. EncoxDev

    walmart pharmacy order online definition of prescription drugs online pharmacy tech course

    May 26, 2021 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. EncoxDev

    dangerous prescription drugs anti viral walmart pharmacy accepted payment methods in store

    May 26, 2021 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. EncoxHtf

    buy cialis online india https://cialishav.com/ – cialis delivery to australia cialis generic versus brand name

    May 27, 2021 at 05:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. MileSwa

    buy generic cialis online https://ckacialis.com/ – free cialis canada i want to buy cialis in australia

    May 27, 2021 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. MileSwa

    buy cialis canada https://ckacialis.com/ – cialis 60mg cialis pills low price

    May 28, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. EncoxAni

    is it illegal to carry prescription drugs without the bottle in florida https://pharmacyken.com/ – free prescription drugs for low income purchase drugs from canada

    May 28, 2021 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ZisseVed

    is cialis safe with high blood pressure https://krocialis.com/ – cialis strengths generica cialis

    May 29, 2021 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. EncoxAni

    Buspar https://pharmacyken.com/ – Strattera walmart store pharmacy locator

    May 29, 2021 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. CrulkAsd

    where to buy cialis https://cialisjla.com/ – brand cialis for sale cialis over the counter in spain

    May 29, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxHtf

    can i take 4 5mg cialis https://cialishav.com/ – cialis color best prices for generic cialis

    May 29, 2021 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. EncoxGtv

    canada weight loss drugs most reputable canadian pharmacy pharmacy canada school

    May 30, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. CrulkAsd

    free cialis online https://cialisjla.com/ – grapefruit cialis cialis nz

    May 30, 2021 at 03:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. EncoxGtv

    pharmacy tech certificate online online pharmacy codeine how to apply at cvs pharmacy online

    May 30, 2021 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Zisseloh

    should i take cialis on an empty stomach other uses for cialis what happens if women take cialis

    May 31, 2021 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. ZisseVed

    cialis paypal pay with cialis strengths cialis website coupon

    June 1, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. EncoxDev

    vipps approved canadian online pharmacy pharmacy online pharmacy overnight shipping

    June 1, 2021 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. EncoxHtf

    cialis how long does it last cialis liquid dosage cialis generic side effects

    June 2, 2021 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. MileSwa

    cialis generic reviews buy cialis online cheap canadian drugstore cialis

    June 2, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. MileSwa

    cialis ebay cialis purchase canada original cialis online

    June 3, 2021 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. EncoxAni

    carefirst rx pharmacy canadian pharmacy keeps calling g and e pharmacy edmonton store hours

    June 3, 2021 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. ZisseVed

    what to expect from cialis online cialis generic oryginal cialis

    June 4, 2021 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. EncoxGtv

    canadian online pharmacy viagra pet medications canada pharmacy online pharmacy anabolic steroids

    June 4, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. EncoxGtv

    will a canadian pharmacy fill an american prescription kamagra online pharmacy texas online pharmacy

    June 4, 2021 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. CrulkAsd

    viagra vs cialis which is better cialis black cialis mit paypal bezahlen

    June 4, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. EncoxAni

    walmart online pharmacy refill prescription online b12 canada pharmacy

    June 4, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. EncoxHtf

    cialis cut in half cialis 100mg from china cialis meaning

    June 4, 2021 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. CrulkAsd

    cialis generic cialis overnight delivery where to buy cialis cheap

    June 4, 2021 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Zisseloh

    how much does cialis cost per pill how long does 5mg cialis work over the counter cialis 2016

    June 5, 2021 at 02:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Zisseloh

    dapoxetine/cialis what milligrams does cialis come in review buy cialis online

    June 7, 2021 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. ZisseVed

    ingredient in cialis cialis precio cialis review

    June 8, 2021 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. EncoxDev

    proscar canadian pharmacy Fertomid buy drugs canada

    June 8, 2021 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. EncoxDev

    naltrexone online pharmacy canadianpharmacy okay google canadian pharmacies on the web

    June 8, 2021 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. EncoxHtf

    can i buy cialis local cialis efectos secundarios a largo plazo buy 20mg cialis

    June 9, 2021 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. MileSwa

    cheap cialis online cialis australia generic cialis florida

    June 9, 2021 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. EncoxAni

    international drug mart canadian pharmacy online store correct rx pharmacy services online pharmacy for pets

    June 10, 2021 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. MileSwa

    best ed cialis pills cialis pre generic cipla cialis

    June 12, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. buy chloroquine phosphate uk

    what is hydroxychloroquine 200 mg hydroxychloroquine chloroquine hydroxychloroquine side effects heart

    June 12, 2021 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. ZisseVed

    cialis orgasm cialis otc switch cialis ontario

    June 12, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. EncoxGtv

    synvisc canadian pharmacies can americans buy prescription drugs from canada cialis from canada

    June 12, 2021 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. EncoxGtv

    uk pharmacy online solutions rx pharmacy valtrex canadian pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. EncoxAni

    recreditable canadian pharmacies medications canada pharmacy board of pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. EncoxHtf

    cialis 20 mg canada pharmacy cialis buy online canada buying cialis in tijuana

    June 13, 2021 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Zisseloh

    cialis ontario cialis samples free by mail cialis tadalafil online paypal

    June 13, 2021 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. CrulkAsd

    cialis cialis professional 20 lowest price buy cialis

    June 13, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.