An ancient strain of plague may have led to the decline of Neolithic Europeans

Credit: Science Daily- Published on December 6, 2018
Researchers have identified a new strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague, in DNA extracted from 5,000-year-old human remains. Their analyses suggest that this strain is the closest ever identified to the genetic origin of plague. Their work also suggests that plague may have been spread among Neolithic...

Credit: Wochit
Published on December 6, 2018 -  00:59
Ancient Black Plague Found In Swedish Gravesite
According to, New research published today in Cell describes a newly identified strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague. The DNA of the new strain was extracted from a woman who lived in a Neolithic farming community about 4,900 years ago in what is now Sweden. The bacterium is unique in that it’s the oldest genome of Y. pestis ever discovered and, at a genetic level, it’s the earliest plague strain ever discovered. Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for an unspeakable amount of human suffering, causing the Plague of Justinian during the sixth century AD, killing between 30 million and 50 million people—virtually half the human population at the time. The plague would return 800 years later, manifesting as the Black Death—a menace that killed 50 million Europeans from 1347 to 1351.

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