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The scale of the worst epidemic in the history of mankind

An international team of scientists from the  United States and  Germany showed that the deadliest pandemic in the history of the plague was even bigger than previously thought. This is reported in a press release on Phys.org.
Researchers reconstructed eight genomes of the plague bacillus Yersinia pestis, which is the causative agent of bubonic plague. The DNA of the pathogen was extracted from samples of human remains collected on the territory of modern France , Germany, Spain and the  UK . The results of the analysis confirmed that the infection that engulfed the countries of the Mediterranean during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, was exactly the plague.
According to scientists, the discovery of the plague killer in Spain and in France showed that the disease really swept the coastal regions, where it was particularly ferocious. At the same time, over the course of two centuries, during which the pandemic swept the entire civilized world, there were many different strains of bacteria. Later genomes lacked several genes that contribute to virulence — the ability of the infectious agent to infect the host organism. Thus, the plague wand evolved, becoming less deadly for humans, which contributed to its greater spread.
Scientists are still arguing about the impact of the pandemic on the world of that time. Some researchers claim that, although the outbreak of the plague claimed many lives, the disaster played a small role in the development of society and the economy. Other experts believe that it could have a significant impact on humanity.

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