Plague was detectable some 3,000 years earlier

A study suggests the plague may have existed thousands of
years earlier than the .
sixth century and through
medieval times when the illness wiped
out millions of people.

Scientist analyse DNA of human teeth from Europe and Asia and their
finding showed the bacterium that causes the plague was detectable
3,000 years earlier than previously documented.

According to the study, the bacterium,
known as Yersinia pestis, was common, though it may have caused a
slightly different but still harmful kind of illness.

According to senior
study author Eske Willerslev of
the Center for GeoGenetics at the
University of Copenhagen:
They found that the Y. pestis lineage originated and was
widespread much earlier than
previously thought, and they
narrowed the time window as to
when it developed. The study changes their view of
when and how plague
influenced human populations and opens new avenues for studying the
evolution of diseases.


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