Yersinia pestis and Plague: Some Knowns and Unknowns

Announcing a new article publication for Zoonoses journal.   Since its first identification in 1894 during the third pandemic in Hong Kong, there has been significant progress in 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. The authors of this article focus on some of the knowns and unknowns related to Y. pestis and plague, notably, some key Y. pestis physiologic and virulence traits that are important for its mammal-flea-mammal life cycle, and 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 medical protection countermeasures are also provided. Lastly, biosafety and biosecurity information related to Y. pestis and plague are presented.

Keywords: Yersinia pestis , plague, physiology, evolution, pathogenesis, immunity, vaccine, diagnostic, treatment, bioterrorism

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eISSN 2737-7474

ISSN 2737-7466

Article reference: Ruifu Yang, Steve Atkinson and Ziqi Chen et al. Yersinia pestis and Plague: Some Knowns and Unknowns. Zoonoses. Vol. 3(1). DOI: 10.15212/ZOONOSES-2022-0040