Russ asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 8 years ago

Which of the 3 types of Black Plague is the worst?

I've been studying the black plague and I can't seem to find a place that'll tell me which of the 3 types were worst. I know that the bubonic leads to septicemic or pneumonic. So I'm guessing that the bubonic isn't the worst but I could be wrong. Even though all of them will most likely kill you. Which one is the most efficient killer, which one is more painful, and which one is least efficient?

2 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Worst is rather vague. Yersinia pestis infected lungs are the pneumonic form that was the most readily spread because it transferred by aerosoled droplets directly from person to person. It was a more lethal form than the bubonic form. This means it killed a lot of people despite being a rarer form than the bubonic form. The septicemic blood born form of Y. pestis infection was the most lethal once contracted but it was rarest. It killed so quickly, but still had to have the vector to pass, it was less likely to run rampant.

    The host's genetic resistance also played a role. It seems that those heterozygotes with one hemochromatosis allele tended to survive the infection. Hemochromatosis is a disorder that sequesters iron so it accumulates in the body tissues. With one allele they might be anemic but also resistant to infection because invading bacteria take up available iron for their own use so these anemic people tended to slow the rate of bacterial growth, giving the immune system more time to react. This allele was a form of iron-withholding defense against bacterial infection. In people of European ancestry this allele is very common and when present in two alleles the best treatment is bleeding to reduce the level of iron in the body.

    Source(s): Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease- The author discusses the selective pressures of various disease alleles that confer advantages in heterozygous individuals.
  • 8 years ago

    First, it's quite strange and slightly disturbing you would want to know which is the worst in terms of pain and efficiency. I hope to Science that you do not have access to this bacterium and/or are planning to use it.

    To answer your question, usually any infection that spreads to other parts of the body can do more damage than a localized infection. Though I cannot answer which is more painful (you kinda have to be infected to explain it), I would expect it would depend from patient to patient. We are not in the Middle Ages anymore, so the likelihood of someone expiring from this is low (the exception would be a hyper-virulent/antibiotic resistant strain)

    hope this helps

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