“Our data … ends the debate about the etiology of the Black Death, and unambiguously demonstrates that Y. pestis was the causative agent of the epidemic plague that devastated Europe during the Middle Ages,” the authors wrote in the Oct. 7 issue of PLoS Pathogens.[...]
To build their case, the study’s authors extracted DNA from more than 75 skeletons in mass graves or plague pits across Europe. As an added measure, the scientists compared the samples to bones in nearby regions unaffected by the disease. All of this data, according to the study, points to bubonic plague as the cause of the 400-year-long pandemic and not other diseases.
Link via Geekosystem | Photo: Virginia Commonwealth University
Previously: Eyam: The Village That Died to Save Its Neighbors