Could bubonic plague strike again?
Date published: 02nd February 2014
A team has compared the genomes of the Justinian Plague and the Black Death to find that both were caused by distinct strains of the bacterium Yersinia Pestis.
And while the Justinian Plague strain became extinct, the Black Death-causing pathogen evolved and mutated, still killing today.
Writing in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the research team said that knowing how the pathogen evolved in the past was crucial to help them understand possible future strains of plague.
In the 14th Century, the Black Death is thought to have killed up to half the European population - and 800 years earlier plague had caused similar devastation in the Byzantine empire when Justinian was emperor.To continue reading click here