A study published in “Nature”new researchEuropeans’ immune systems revealedHow to be affected by the Black Death. The Black Death, also known as the plague, was a severe infectious disease caused by infection with the bacterium Yersinia pestis. In the 14th century, about one-third to one-half of the people in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa died from the Black Death. The researchers first screened more than 500 ancient samples, collected in and around London or in several cemeteries across Denmark. It then focused on 206 ancient samples spanning various time points before, during and after the Black Death. The researchers specifically referred to a version of the ERAP2 gene that appears to be consistent with higher survival rates during the Black Death pandemic. They estimated that individuals carrying two copies of the protective ERAP2 allele (rs2549794) had a 40% to 50% higher survival rate after Yersinia pestis infection.
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