Presentations on the Plague from the European Association of Archaeologists, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2016

I just discovered that most of the presentations from the "Plague in Diachronic and Interdisciplinary Perspective" session of the Europan Association of Archaeologists meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania on 2 September 2016 are now on YouTube.  I think I have collected them all here. Enjoy 3 hours of plague talks! Introduction-Plague in diachronic and Interdisciplinary perspective by... Continue Reading →

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War as a Driver in Tuberculosis Evolution

by Michelle Ziegler Russia has been all over the news lately. Beyond our recent election, increased Russian activity on the world stage has public health consequences for Europe and farther afield. It has been known for a long time that post-Soviet Russia had and continues to have serious public health problems. One of their particular... Continue Reading →

Plasmodium knowlesi: A New Ancient Malaria Parasite

There are over a hundred different species of the malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites in reptiles, birds and mammals. Being so widespread among terrestrial vertebrates, zoonotic transfer of Plasmodium has come at humans from multiple different sources. Plasmodium knowlesi had been known for some time as a parasite of long-tailed macaques but was not considered a significant human... Continue Reading →

Asymptomatic Plague: Qinghai, China, 2005

Now that we know the Tibet-Qinghai plateau region is where Yersinia pestis originated and the region where subsequent pandemics arose, I think its time to look more closely at regional outbreaks and case studies. In this region, the marmot (Marmota himalayana) is the primary reservoir for Yersinia pestis. This large communal burrowing rodent is hunted by local... Continue Reading →

The Great Pneumonic Plague of 1910-1911

The Great Manchurian Plague of 1910-1911: Geopolitics of an Epidemic Disease by William C. Summers Yale U Press, 2012 Manchuria was a political mess at the turn of the 20th century. Although it was the homeland of the Qing dynasty, the Chinese considered it a backwater. Japan and Russia on the other hand saw it... Continue Reading →

Leprosy in Medieval Scandinavia

Leprosy is an ancient disease. References to leprosy and the social stigma attached to it go back to 600 BC from India and in the Old Testament. However, like the plague, it was not until relatively late (1873) that the term leprosy became attached to a particular microbe, Mycobacterium leprae. Although some medieval descriptions suggest... Continue Reading →

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