Reason behind Black death has been most misunderstood until now

Reason behind Black death has been most misunderstood until now

Rats have always been taken responsible for ‘Black Death.’ Meanwhile, the researchers have found the real disease spreaders. The scientists from the University of Oslo in Norway and the University of Ferrara in Italy states that human fleas and body lice are more liable for beginning the pandemic. We can also say that human ectoparasites are accountable for the disease.

Plague or Black death has taken millions of lives in the 12th century and lasted until the initial period of 19th century. It is begun by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, a Gram-negative, rod-shaped coccobacillus and non-mobile with zero spores. It is a facultative anaerobic organism which can infect humans via the oriental rat flea. The plague caused by the bacterium takes three primary forms which are pneumonic, septicemic, and bubonic plagues. So basically, as the rodents carry the bacterium, therefore, rats were accountable for the deaths in Europe, assumptions claims.

The disease was so deadly that it literally destroyed the European population in the time period of 1346 to 1353, and the estimated deaths were around 75 to 200 million. To find out the exact reason behind the plague, researchers designed models to discover the method by which rats can spread the disease, airborne transmission, and fleas and lice on clothes and humans.

However, during the research, one model predicted the infection was spread from rats to fleas to people. The second model pretended the plague was dispersed by human fleas and body lice to other people and the third model assumed that it was developed from person to person by the air. The third model was a case when people develop a form of plague known as pneumonic plague. The researchers found that there was a familiar similarity between the outburst and the human model while compared with the other two alternatives in seven of the cases.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And the scientists stated that while it is usually assumed that rats and their fleas spread plague during the second pandemic, there is little historical and archaeological support for such a claim. The overall findings suggested that the Black Death disaster in Europe occurred by the human parasites rather than a commensal rat or pneumonic transferral.


In the Pre-industrial Europe, human ectoparasites such as human fleas and body lice were maybe more likely to begin the quick expansion of the plagues. The study is the significant challenge for the previous fact which says that rats were responsible for plague in Europe. The human fleas and lice can be accused of the fast-spreading by the fact that maybe fleas and lice fed on infected humans, and then transferred the disease to other humans, according to the study.

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Megha Singh

A news media professional with a strong experience in online journalism, content management, and social media. Megha’s strength includes the sound knowledge of health, yoga, meditation, and proficiency in packaging content for health-related issues.

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