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Yersinia Pestis and the Plague of Justinian 541—543 AD: A Genomic Analysis

The Plague of Justinian is estimated to have killed between 30 and 50 million people. Researchers isolated DNA fragments from the teeth of two plague victims buried in Bavaria. Using these fragments, they reconstructed the genome of the oldest Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for the plague, and compared it to a database of genomes of more than a hundred contemporary strains. Results show that the strain responsible for the sixth-century outbreak was an evolutionary 'dead-end' and distinct from strains involved later in the Black Death and other plague pandemics that would follow.

Read the article at The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
 


Posted on Jan 28, 2014 in News, Publications

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THE MARY JAHARIS CENTER
for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.

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