The exact origin of the epidemic was determined centuries later

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[EN VIDÉO] Video: A new case of bubonic plague in Inner Mongolia
On Sunday, July 5, 2020, the authorities in the Inner Mongolia region, in the north of the country, announced that a shepherd had contracted bubonic plague.

long before covid-19 pandemicthere was that from plague Black, the most important thing mankind has ever known. caused by bacteria Yersinia pestis, The disease entered Europe around 1347 Across, In all probability, trade routes from Central Asia. Within seven years, the Black Death killed about 60% of Europe’s population. this first mysterious that swept between 1346 and 1353 allowedAppearance of from a crowd ofepidemics Secondary education in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, which spread until the end of the nineteenth centurye century.

Going back in time and determining the origin of the 500-year epidemic has been a real challenge for scientists, even last post in temper nature New genomic data makes it possible to locate the onset of the Black Death epidemic both geographically and chronologically. According to this multidisciplinary teamHistorians And biologists, it began in the mountainous regions around Lake Issyk Kul, located today in Kyrgyzstan, precisely in 1338.

Archaeological evidence…

This conclusion is based on archaeological evidence and hereditary. In fact, earlier research, conducted in 1886, had identified tombs dating from 1338-1339 near Lake Issyk Kul with a specific inscription in Syriac – the language spoken by these local communities – interpreted to mean “plague”. It is clear that a disease that claimed many victims in the region a few years before the arrival of the Black Plague in Europe.

This hypothesis, which has been discussed for a long time in the scientific community, was opposed to the most popular hypothesis, which laid the beginnings of the Black Death in China. ” We were finally able to prove that the epidemic mentioned on the tombstones was indeed caused by the plague “,” Phil Slavin confirmsA historian at the University of Stirling.

… and genetics

Added to these archaeological clues is genetic work by a team from the University of Tübingen and Stirling. From’DNA From Yersinia pestisIt was isolated from the remains buried in “epidemic” tombs; From a genetics perspective, this belongs to strains that appeared before ” the great explosion of genetic diversity. An event that allowed bacteria to gain abilities pandemic And that scientists placed between Xe and fourteene century. ” We found that the ancient Kyrgyz dynasty lies precisely at the center of this massive diversification event. In other words, we found the strain that caused the Black Death and know its exact date. [l’année 1338] ”, explains Maria Spiro, lead author of this work.

It is possible that the nomads of Lake Issyk Kul contracted the contamination through close contact with animals carrying Yersinia pestis. In fact, the rodents It is the natural reservoir of the plague – humans become ill Across A flea bite that lives on infected animals or through contact with another patient. Moreover, even today, bacteria are still protected in the organism of rodents and sometimes cause cases of plague, Especially in Mongolia And in China.

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