Yersinia Pestis: The Cause Of The Bubonic Plague

Superior Essays
Most know it as the plague that wiped out about 50% of England’s population, but this epidemic actually originated in China circa the 1330s. China was big in the trading industry, its ships infected with the disease stricken fleas on black rats carried this disease down the Mediterranean, over to Europe in the 1340’s. This is when the Bubonic Plague became a big part of history as the “Black Death”. After 5 long years and 1/3 of Europe’s people deceased, the worst of it was over. Although, the disease didn’t disappear until the 1600s. This highly contagious zoonotic disease (like avian or swine flu) also has a very fast mortality rate. Killing someone in under 24 hours in some cases. There are three different types to this painful plague that …show more content…
This virus is a gram negative rod shaped bacteria classified as coccobacillus. A coccobacillus has short rods that may be confused for a cocci shape. Y. Pestis is a nonmotile, nonsporulating, facultative anaerobe. The bacteria settles in the midgut of a flea and its plasmid is phospholipase D lined membrane allows the bacteria to survive among the digestive and intestinal juices. When the bacteria reproduces in the gut it forms a mass in the stomach going up into the esophagus, essentially blocking its gastroesophageal region with clotted blood from when it tries to feed on its host. Because of this blockage food does not get digested and the flea has an insatiable hunger making it want to bite and feed more than usual. This can also lead the flea to eventually die of starvation. When the flea bites its unfortunate host it regurgitates its infected ingested blood into the site causing infection. The bacteria then travels through the cutaneous membrane to the lymph system and then multiplies in cells damaging their immune defenses. This bacteria is very resistant to being killed. It can withstand phagocytosis and once inside it reproduces inside the phagocyte’s cell and kill it! It has an ability to attach easily to cells surfaces and penetrate to reproduce. The outer membrane proteins help prevent an inflammatory response of the body so your …show more content…
If you contract primary septicemic plague you may not even experience any symptoms and just die unexpectedly. But if you do have symptoms they are chest pain, shock, and bleeding beneath the skin. Flue like symptoms show with the bubonic plague; fever, chills, muscle ache, and very very swollen lymph nodes (buboes). Similar to Pneumonic Plague symptoms are flu-like but with a cough, chest pain, and bloody sputum, and of course pneumonia. The buboes are lymph nodes found in the neck, armpit, and groin regions. Seizures from shock will usually happen with any form of the plague from all the bacteria replicating in your body. This disease is very painful! Your body can start decaying before you have even past! Black patches show up on the skin from subcutaneous bleeding, mainly in Septicemic plague. If you had the unfortunate luck of contracting the bubonic plague today it might be a little hard to diagnose seems how the symptoms are of that of the regular flu. And even if you developed the buboes, there are other diseases more common to check for first that also develop the buboes, like cat-scratch fever and

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Black Death Research Paper

    • 1658 Words
    • 7 Pages

    The most common one is the Bubonic plague, which is mainly caused by a flea bite. The 2nd most common type of the plague is called the Septicemic plague which is when “Y. pestis bacteria spread through the bloodstream and cause a blood infection called septicemia” (Symptoms) The person infected would“develop severe bleeding problems, including sudden bleeding under the skin, scattered bruises, blood in the urine and abnormal bleeding from the mouth, nose and rectum.” The last type of the plague is called Pneumonic plague which is extremely rare. “It happens when Y. pestis bacteria infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. It can develop when a person breathes in droplets of Y. pestis from an animal or person who has plague infection in the lungs”(Symptoms) Even being the most difficult type of the plague to catch it, it is also more difficult to treat.…

    • 1658 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Many believe the Bubonic plague first began at sea around October 1837 in Europe. They believe it came to land when ships coming through the black sea ported at the Sicilian port of Messina and the sailors that survived thereof successfully passed it on to the unsuspecting victims of Europe. However, the first sightings of the bubonic plague sprouted up around the 6th century. The emperor at the time (Justinian 1) named it the Justinian plague beginning in 541 AD, it then lived up to its name and killed up to 25 million people at the time (Rosen 2007). It then moved on to china in 1334 where it achieved the name “The Black Plague” or “Great Plague” where it found its way along trading routes and settled in Constantinople and Europe.…

    • 1312 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Black Death Facts

    • 1288 Words
    • 6 Pages

    • Y. Pestis utilized the flea by blocking its digestive tract. The flea tries constantly to feed, but the blockage causes it to vomit bacilli into its host. When the host perishes, the flea and its offspring pursue a fresh host, infesting…

    • 1288 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Symptoms Of Pneumonia

    • 1362 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Bacteria pneumonia also causes symptoms that the other types of germs don’t. The symptoms separating bacteria pneumonia from the rest are vomiting, excessive sweating, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, and bluish tint to the lips and nails from a lack of oxygen to the blood. A person should see a physician when they are having difficulty breathing, any chest pain, persistent fever of 102 degrees or higher or persistent cough of pus (Mayoclinic, 2015). It is a more serious matter when older adults, young children, infants and those with chronic medical conditions are affected by pneumonia. When an older person is affected by pneumonia they tend to become confused and unaware of whats going on.…

    • 1362 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Shingles is a very serious virus causing severe pain and extreme rash that can become annoying for many victims of the rash. In having the symptoms above, one should see a doctor if: 1) The pain and rash occur near an eye. 2) If left untreated, this infection can lead to permanent eye…

    • 867 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The skin of the infected person will turn blue. Untreated bubonic or septicemic plague may cause bacteria to spread to the lungs causing pneumonic plague. It can also be spread from person to person by cough droplets. When exposed through infected droplets in the air, a person will generally become ill within 1 to 3 days. The mortality rate for this type of plague is 100% if not treated within 24 hours of the first sign of…

    • 954 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Many deadly diseases were widespread in the Middle Ages. One of the common diseases from that time period was known as leprosy. Leprosy was known for attacking a person’s skin, nerves, eyes, and breathing. According to WebMD, symptoms of the disease include pale and disfiguring skin sores, lumps, or bumps that do not disappear until after several weeks or months. People infected…

    • 732 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    When Tuberculosis is exposed into the air it can get into our nose,mouth and once it get into the nose and mouth it goes down the trachea and goes often to the two tubes of Bronchi and eventually gets into the lobes of the lung and alveoli.This is where the Tuberculosis causes the most trouble is in alveoli.There the macrophages recognize the point bacteria and go to invade and attack it but once the macrophages pick up the bacteria because of the mycolic acid they can’t penetrate and kill the bacteria.So the bacteria will eventually start replicating itself in the macrophages killing the cells and then start to attack the healthy cells. Disease Diagnosis: Diagnosis is made by positive Tuberculin skin test. A small amount of antigen is injected underneath the skin and have to see if there is raised bump and if there is a raised bump it is confirmed that the person he\she has Tuberculosis.It is confirmed by X-rays of the chest and examination of sputum. Treatment: The first effective treatment for TB was developed in the 1940s-streptomycin.TB is currently treated with a combination of 3-4 drugs with different purposes: • Antibacterial Activity: e.g.…

    • 619 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Therefore, one of the major effects of hookworm disease is shortage of blood (anaemia). This can be very serious and make the child weak and ill for a long time. If the anaemia is not treated properly, it can kill the child. How does hookworm get into the body? There are male and female hookworms.…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It is received by getting bit by a rodent or flea or when Yersinia pestis enters the bloodstream. The most serious and deadliest form is the pneumonic plague, although it is rare. It occurs when Yersinia pestis spreads to the lungs and causes pneumonia. This form of the plague is so dangerous that if an infected person coughs, the bacteria from their lungs is discharged into the air, giving anyone around him, the disease. This can lead to an epidemic.…

    • 1104 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays