Plague and Yersinia pestis: some knowns and unknowns

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Ruifu Yang* Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China.

Steve Atkinson 2.School of Life Sciences, Centre for Biomolecular Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Ziqi Chen Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Yujun Cui Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China.

Zongmin Du Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China.

Yanping Han Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China.

Florent Sebbane Univ. Lille, CNRS, Inserm, CHU Lille, Institut Pasteur Lille, U1019-UMR 9017-CIIL-Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille, F-59000 Lille, France.

Philip Slavin Division of History and Politics, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LJ, UK

Yajun Song Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China

Yanfeng Yan Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China

Yarong Wu Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China

Lei Xu Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Chutian Zhang College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China

Yun Zhang Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

B.Joseph Hinnebusch Laboratory of Bacteriology, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, Hamilton, Montana, USA

Nils Chr. Stenseth Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, N-0316 Oslo, Norway

Vladimir L.Motin* Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA


Abstract

Since its first identification in 1894 during the third pandemic in Hong Kong, there has been significant progress of understanding the lifestyle of Yersinia pestis, the pathogen that is responsible for plague. Although we now have some understanding of the pathogen’s physiology, genetics, genomics, evolution, gene regulation, pathogenesis and immunity, there are many unknown aspects of the pathogen and its disease development. Here, we focus on some of the knowns and unknowns relating to Y. pestis and plague. We notably focus on some key Y pestis physiological and virulence traits that are important for its mammal-flea-mammal life cycle but also its emergence from the enteropathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Some aspects of the genetic diversity of Y. pestis, the distribution and ecology of plague as well as the medical countermeasures to protect our population are also provided. Lastly, we present some biosafety and biosecurity information related to Y. pestis and plague.

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Bioinformatics, Immunology
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  • 06 Jan 2023 08:37 Version 1
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