Southwest Jiaotong University School of Mathematics

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Evolution and ecology of plague: a wildlife disease of today which changed our

来源:新闻中心   作者:Nils Chr. Stenseth Professor of Ecology and Evolution at CEES, University of Oslo     日期:2021-04-23 21:25:15   点击数:  

Title of report:Evolution and ecology of plague: a wildlife disease of today which changed our

history.

Reporter:Nils Chr. Stenseth Professor of Ecology and Evolution at CEES, University of Oslo

Report home page:https://www.mn.uio.no/stenseth

Reporting time:427日下午16:30-18:00

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ZOOM ID81218261072

Password:  795833

Summary of the report:Plague is a disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It is first and foremost a wildlife disease which occasionally spills over to the human populations. At present a couple of thousand human cases are reported. In the past plague has caused three big human epidemics, the Justinian plague (from about 541 AD), the Black Death (from about 1330 AD) and the third plague pandemic (from about 1880 AD). During the Black Death about 50% of the European human population was killed. The lecture will provide an overview of the ecology and evolution of the plague illustrating the mutual interaction between ecology and evolution (with partly a focus on the dynamics in the wildlife hosts (rodents) as well as between the wildlife host and humans and within the human population); it will discuss how the bacterium is spread from human to human (mostly by human fleas and lice); it will discuss how the bacterium most likely come to Europe in several waves during the Black Death using both ecological and genetic data; finally the lecture will discuss how genetic changes in the bacterium changes the behavior of the fleas making it, through evolution, be as effective as possible in spreading the bacterium from one (wildlife) host to another host.