Cause of deadliest plagues in history discovered

Friday, February 07, 2014 by: Sandeep Godiyal
Tags: Black Death, plague, history

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
GMO crops totally banned in Russia... powerful nation blocks Monsanto's agricultural imperialism and mass poisoning of the population
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Holistic cancer treatment pioneer Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez dies suddenly; patients mourn the loss of a compassionate, innovative doctor who helped thousands heal from cancer
Pepsi drops aspartame from diet soda as consumers reject toxic sweetener
Bride of Frankenfood: Hillary Clinton pushes GMO agenda... hires Monsanto lobbyist... takes huge dollars from Monsanto
STATINS RED ALERT: Widely prescribed drugs act as cellular poisons that accelerate aging... deactivate DNA repair... promote diabetes, muscle fatigue and memory loss
Wild eyes and bowl cuts: Why do mass shooters always share the same hair styles and crazed zombie stares?
Mind control through emotional domination: How we're all being manipulated by the "crisis of the NOW"
(NaturalNews) The two deadliest plagues in the world - the Black Death and the Justinian Plague - wiped out a great deal of Europe's population. A new study shows that they were caused by two different strains of the same bacterium. With funding from a variety of sources from the United States, Australia and Canada, researchers analyzed DNA from people who were victims of those plagues to reach that conclusion.

Hardy bacterium

Yersinia pestis (y pestis) is the bacterium that is the cause of three plague outbreaks of pandemic proportions. The Black Death, also known as the Bubonic Plague, occurred from the 14th and 17th centuries, killing about 500 million people in Europe. During the 19th and 20th centuries, a third pandemic, originating from Hong Kong, occurred. The causes of these two pandemics have been isolated genetically, with many researchers believing that the same strain of the y pestis bacterium is responsible for both.

Mysterious first pandemic

The Plague of Justinian, which occurred during the 6th and 8th centuries, was previously thought to have started in Africa before spreading to Asia, Europe, Arabia and North Africa. Before this study, whose results were recently published in The Lancelet: Infectious Diseases, little was known about the origins and causes of this plague. It is thought to be responsible for the deaths of between 30 and 50 million people.

Answering an age-old question

In order to answer this centuries-old question, researchers set about analyzing the DNA from two people who fell victim to the Justinian plague, and who were, subsequently, buried in an early medieval cemetery in Germany. In performing this analysis, the researchers isolated the DNA from the teeth of the two individuals, screened it for the presence of the specific strain of y pestis that caused the Bubonic Plague and sequenced the DNA. before comparing it to the existing genome database of y pestis bacterium.

Different bacterium strain caused first plague

According to Dave Wagner, coauthor of the study, and an associate professor at Northern Arizona University's Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics, the study showed that the Justinian Plague and the Bubonic Plague were both caused by the y pestis pathogen, but by different strains. This gives rise to the conclusion as to why the Justinian Plague simply seems to have died out after a period of time while the Bubonic Plague recurred over and over again over a period of hundreds of years.

Though the results of this historic study showed that the two deadliest plagues were not caused by the same strain of the pathogen y pestis, it did emphasize how rats were the reservoir for the spread of the deadly disease. Wagner, the coauthor of the study, pointed out that an outbreak of the plague is still possible today as there are still rats infected with the pathogen.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Sandeep has written many health field articles for both Internet and print publication. He currently writing for

Read More articles from Sandeep:

5 Must-Know Things about Car Insurance

Top 5 Reasons Your Health Insurance Premium Will Rise in 2016

Top 5 Tips for Finding Affordable Health Insurance Policy

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Black Death at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.