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Take a look at this recent article from the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15278366
Quote from: Don_1 on 25/10/2011 11:34:36Take a look at this recent article from the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15278366 [nofollow]It does indicate that Yersinia Pestis has had some genetic drift over the centuries. The question is how the plague reached Europe. Where did it come from? Did it make a jump from an animal species to humans, or was it endemic to a small remote human population, only released by the increased trade of the Renaissance? Anyway, it is likely that it was a novel bacterium to a large number of people during the Renaissance. The article is a bit unclear, but other earlier plagues may have been a different bacterium.I'm going to go with a combination of less virulent bacterium, better treatment for the infections, better hygiene, and some genetic immunity. Buboes [nofollow], for example, are rare in Western Civilization.
Take a look at this recent article from the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15278366 [nofollow]
Survival may have also been affected by how you caught it, whether directly from the flea that transmitted it, or from another person. A person with oozing boboes or the respiratory form of plague might deliver a much higher dose of it to the next person than a flea would.Some zoonotic bacteria can actually become more virulent after being passed a few times through a different animal host than the one it normally infects, but I dont know if this is true of Y. pestis.