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Black Death A Study of the Plague. The Darkest Ages Justinian’s Plague Justinian’s Plague –A.D. 541, Egypt –70,000 dead within 2 years Great Pestilence/Black.

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Presentation on theme: "Black Death A Study of the Plague. The Darkest Ages Justinian’s Plague Justinian’s Plague –A.D. 541, Egypt –70,000 dead within 2 years Great Pestilence/Black."— Presentation transcript:

1 Black Death A Study of the Plague

2 The Darkest Ages Justinian’s Plague Justinian’s Plague –A.D. 541, Egypt –70,000 dead within 2 years Great Pestilence/Black Death Great Pestilence/Black Death –1346, Europe –30+ million dead Most recent pandemic Most recent pandemic –1890, China –12.5 million dead

3 The Cause of The Plague The bacterium which causes plague was first isolated: The bacterium which causes plague was first isolated: Time: 1894Time: 1894 Place: Hong KongPlace: Hong Kong By: Andre Yersin, a French bacteriologistBy: Andre Yersin, a French bacteriologist The bacteria was later named after him, Yersinia pestis The bacteria was later named after him, Yersinia pestis

4 The Cause of The Plague (cont’) Wayson Stain of Yersinia Pestis

5 The Cause of The Plague (cont’) Fluorescence antibody positively is seen as bright, intense green staining around the bacterial cell

6 How is Plague Transmitted? Plague is transmitted from animal to animal by the bites of infective flea. Plague is transmitted from animal to animal by the bites of infective flea. Both male and female fleas can transmite the infection Both male and female fleas can transmite the infection Plague is also transmitted from animal to human in the same way. Plague is also transmitted from animal to human in the same way.

7 How is Plague Transmitted? (cont’) Plague is also transmitted by inhaling infected droplets expelled by coughing, by a person or animal, especially domestic cat Plague is also transmitted by inhaling infected droplets expelled by coughing, by a person or animal, especially domestic cat The organism may enter through a break in the skin by direct contact with tissue or body fluids of a plague-infected animal. The organism may enter through a break in the skin by direct contact with tissue or body fluids of a plague-infected animal.

8 How is Plague Transmitted? (cont’) Male Xenopsylla cheopis (oriental rat flea) engorged with blood. This flea is the primary vectore of plague epidemics in Asia, Africa, and South America.

9 Yersinia pestis Bacteria multiplies, attaches to host cell and injects the following proteins:  Invasin: A protein that helps it in attachment and gain entry to the human cells.  Plasminogen activator protease: prevents the fibrin clot to form which would trap the bacteria at the site of the flea bite  YOPS (Yersinia outer- membrane proteins): it is injected into human cells, it interferes with signaling and prevents phagocytosis by immune system cells.

10 Types of plague Bubonic Pneumonic Septicemic The initial symptoms are: headache, nausea, aching joints, and a general feeling of ill health.

11 Bubonic Plague Appearance of buboes, painful inflammations about the size of chicken eggs at lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin. Hemorrhaging under the skin, causing black splotches Late stage symptoms: very high fever and delirium. About 50-60% of the infected die after 4 days when left untreated.

12 Pneumonic Plague When the bacterium enters the lung It usually spreads by sneezing Symptoms  Coughing, expulsion of slimy sputum with traces of blood  Free-flowing and bright red sputum appears in advance stages. Untreated, % of cases lead to coma and death in about 2-3 days.

13 Septicemic Plague Is when a large amount of the bacterium is found in the bloodstream Symptoms:  Rashes, gangrene, sudden high fever.  During the last hours, victims body turns deep purple due to respiratory failure Victim usually dies the same day. Fatality is 100%. The color that all plague victim have before dying is what gave it the name “Black Death”

14 Plague: Treatment

15 Streptomycin Drug of choice for treatment of plague Drug of choice for treatment of plague –Bacteriocidal –Inhibits protein synthesis –Damages cell membranes Aminoglycoside Aminoglycoside –contains amino sugars attached to an aminocyclitol ring (hexose nucleus) by glycosidic bonds

16 Plague: Treatment Gentamycin Gentamycin –Aminoglycoside –Preferred drug in certain cases:  Can be used in pregnancy  Safe for infants

17 Plague: Treatment Chloramphenicol Chloramphenicol –Useful only in cases of bubonic/septicaemic plague Tetracyclines Tetracyclines Sulfonamides Sulfonamides –Sulfmethoxazole/trimethoprim safe in infants

18 Mortality Without treatment, plague kills 50-90% of infected people Without treatment, plague kills 50-90% of infected people With treatment, 5-15% will die With treatment, 5-15% will die A strain of Yersinia pestis demonstrating streptomycin resistance was found in Madagascar, 1995 A strain of Yersinia pestis demonstrating streptomycin resistance was found in Madagascar, 1995

19 Modern Day Plague


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