The second plague pandemic started in Europe with the Black Death in 1346 and lasted until the 19th century. Based on ancient DNA studies, there is a scientific disagreement over whether the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, came into Europe once (Hypothesis 1) or repeatedly over the following four centuries (Hypothesis 2). Here, we synthesize the most updated phylogeny together with historical, archeological, evolutionary, and ecological information. On the basis of this holistic view, we conclude that Hypothesis 2 is the most plausible. We also suggest that Y. pestis lineages might have developed attenuated virulence during transmission, which can explain the convergent evolutionary signals, including pla decay, that appeared at the end of the pandemics.

Assessing the origins of the European Plagues following the Black Death: A synthesis of genomic, historical, and ecological information

Bramanti, Barbara
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2021

Abstract

The second plague pandemic started in Europe with the Black Death in 1346 and lasted until the 19th century. Based on ancient DNA studies, there is a scientific disagreement over whether the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, came into Europe once (Hypothesis 1) or repeatedly over the following four centuries (Hypothesis 2). Here, we synthesize the most updated phylogeny together with historical, archeological, evolutionary, and ecological information. On the basis of this holistic view, we conclude that Hypothesis 2 is the most plausible. We also suggest that Y. pestis lineages might have developed attenuated virulence during transmission, which can explain the convergent evolutionary signals, including pla decay, that appeared at the end of the pandemics.
2021
Bramanti, Barbara; Wu, Yarong; Yang, Ruifu; Cui, Yujun; Stenseth, Nils Chr.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2462439
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