The worst epidemic of plague in history came to Europe from Russia

Humanity has repeatedly suffered from plague epidemics throughout its history, but as for global pandemics, it is customary to single out only three of them. The "Justinian Plague" happened in the 5th century, the "Black Death" was in the 14th century, and the third, "Cantonese," in the 19th century. It is the second, which actually stretched for 500 years, is considered the most deadly. She also gave impetus to the rapid development of medicine in Europe, but here's the catch - its causative agent is still unknown.

The causative agent of the plague, the bacterium Yersinia pestis or "plague stick", managed to mutate pretty much and form many subspecies back in the same historical XIV century. An international group of genetic scientists studied 34 tooth specimens of people who died from the plague in 10 different European countries, and managed to make a semblance of a genealogical tree of mutation of its pathogens. All of them had a single ancestor who came to Europe from Russia.

The most important was the sample with the LAI009 index, which phylogenetic reconstruction put at the beginning of the chain. Scientists do not exclude that he himself came from another strain, but they do not have earlier samples from those who died in the Second Pandemic. Sample LAI009 was taken from the remains of people in the area of ​​the city of Laishevo, located in modern Russia, in the Volga region.

This is a historical and natural outbreak of the plague, which was originally a disease of the steppe rodents, from which it was transmitted to humans. And the trade routes that led from the Volga region to the Mediterranean coincide with the description of the route of infection of European cities from sailors who sailed from the east. Now scientists want to understand what happened to this strain and its mutations in the end - it is believed that after centuries of violence in Europe, he simply died out. But perhaps this is not the case.

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