Plague may have persisted in Europe during 300-year period, including 'Black Death'
The bacteria that causes plague, Y. pestis, may have persisted long-term in Europe from the 14th to 17th century in an unknown reservoir, according to a study published January 13, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Lisa Seifert from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, and colleagues.
|Original photograph of the triple-inhumation regarding the three male soldiers (Brandenburg, Germany),|
is dated to the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) [Credit: Seifert et al.]
Of 30 skeletons tested, eight were positive for Yersinia pestis-specific nucleic acid. All positive individuals genetic material were highly similar to previously investigated plague victims from other European countries and had identical Y. pestis genotype. The author suggest that in addition to the assumed continuous reintroduction of Y. pestis from central Asia in multiple waves during the second pandemic, it's also possible that Y. pestis persisted long-term in Europe in a yet unknown reservoir host.
Source: PLOS [January 15, 2016]