Oldest bubonic plague genome decoded

An international team of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has analyzed two 3,800-year-old Y. pestis genomes that suggest a Bronze Age origin for bubonic plague. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, shows that this strain is the oldest sequenced to date that contains the virulence factors considered characteristic of the bubonic plague and is ancestral to the strain that caused the Black Death.

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