January 28, 2014

Pathogen Behind Ancient Plagues Could Come Back Someday

Scientists now have more insight into the devastating Justinian and Black plagues and warn it could happen again. Drawing DNA from the teeth of two victims of the Justinian plague, which helped bring about the end of the Roman Empire, researchers found that the strain responsible for this pandemic was an evolutionary “dead-end” and distinct from strains involved later in the Black Death pandemic of the late 1800s. The Justinian plague erupted, wiped out half the world’s population, and then died out. Scientists said if it did it once, it could do it again. Fortunately, they also added that we now have antibiotics to help us combat the pandemic.

[ Read the Article: Pathogen Responsible For Two Historical Plagues Could Reemerge ]

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