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Plague: Yersinia pestis 

Plague: Yersinia pestis
Plague: Yersinia pestis

Michael B. Prentice



Areas of uncertainty or controversy—advances in ancient DNA sequencing have firmly established Yersinia pestis as the cause of the Black Death.

Further reading—references updated, ancient DNA references added.

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date: 15 October 2021

Bubonic plague is a flea-borne zoonosis caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, which mainly affects small burrowing mammals including domestic rats. Human disease occurs in endemic countries—currently mainly in Africa (including Madagascar)—following bites from fleas recently hosted by a bacteraemic animal. Historical use of ...

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