Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective


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Additional ancient genomes of Y. If these hypothesis of a y. Prehistoric archaeology should check for indications e. Furthermore it should be tested, whether the health of the population was probably weak at that time. However, by now neither the chronological nor the spatial framework of this postulated outbreak is clear.

More Posts - Website. A new study provides data on long-term presence of yersinia pestis from 14th c. The study is based on two different sites in Germany, spanning a time period of more than years. One of them is the 14th c. Leonhard church in Manching-Pichl, which is still an extraordinary site in Germany.

Of 30 tested skeletons 8 were positive for Yersinia pestis -specific nucleic acid. As there are some significant similarities between the y. In order to understand the 14th c. Plague, an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, occurred in at least three major historical pandemics: the Justinianic Plague 6th to 8th century , the Black Death from 14th century onwards , and the modern or Hong Kong Plague 19th to 20th century.

Yet DNA from bronze age human skeleton has recently shown that the plague first emerged at least as early as BC. Plague is, as any disease, both a biological as well as a social entity. Different disciplines can therefore elucidate different aspects of the plague, which can lead to a better understanding of this disease and its medical and social implications. We would like to invite researchers from the disciplines of archaeology, anthropology, biology, history, medicine and related subjects to present papers in our session.

Journal of Archaeological Science. Volume 40, Issue 4 , April , Pages — Rats cannot have been intermediate hosts for Yersinia pestis during medieval plague epidemics in Northern Europe. The commonly accepted understanding of modern human plague epidemics has been that plague is a disease of rodents that is transmitted to humans from black rats, with rat fleas as vectors. Historians have assumed that this transmission model is also valid for the Black Death and later medieval plague epidemics in Europe.

Here we examine information on the geographical distribution and population density of the black rat Rattus rattus in Norway and other Nordic countries in medieval times. The study is based on older zoological literature and on bone samples from archaeological excavations. Only a few of the archaeological finds from medieval harbour towns in Norway contain rat bones. There are no finds of black rats from the many archaeological excavations in rural areas or from the inland town of Hamar. These results show that it is extremely unlikely that rats accounted for the spread of plague to rural areas in Norway.

Archaeological evidence from other Nordic countries indicates that rats were uncommon there too, and were therefore unlikely to be responsible for the dissemination of human plague. We hypothesize that the mode of transmission during the historical plague epidemics was from human to human via an insect ectoparasite vector. Follow Me:. Over the last decade a substantial amount of molecular evidence confirming the etiology of the plague over virtually the entire medieval period has been produced.

In this rapidly evolving field, evidence for the Black Death of the 14th century has been produced by each new method in turn. Given the conditions of remains sampled to date, the methods fall into two main categories: genomics and immunology. There are pros and cons to each. Genomics has well-recognized specificity and the ability to compare with living and ancient strains, but non-nucleic acid methods are both specific and far more sensitive.

Non-nucleic acid methods using immunology will give a better indication of the true incidence within a population, especially important when testing moves beyond mass graves. Immunologic methods have been the primary means of diagnosing clinical infectious disease for at least 30 years. The Rapid Diagnostic Test RDT now used to diagnose ancient and modern plague uses technology that has existed for over 25 years with a good track record.

On the other hand, detection of degraded DNA much less getting good enough sequence for strain matching is difficult and inefficient. This map charts all of the medieval plague molecular data that I have seen view Plague Map in a larger map. Yersinia pestis as a telluric, human ectoparasite-borne organism. Lancet Infect Dis Apr;6 4 [ Abstract ]. Genotyping, Orientalis-like Yersinia pestis, and plague pandemics. Emerg Infect Dis Sep;10 9 [ Full text ].

Yersinia pestis Orientalis in remains of ancient plague patients. Emerg Infect Dis Feb;13 2 [ Full text ]. Evaluation of combinatorial vaccines against anthrax and plague. Vaccine Jun 11;25 24 [ Full text ]. Feline plague in New Mexico: risk factors and transmission to humans. Am J Public Health ;78 10 [ Full text ]. Early-phase transmission of Yersinia pestis by cat fleas Ctenocephalides felis and their potential role as vectors in a plague-endemic region of Uganda.

Human plague in the southwestern United States, spatial models of elevated risk of human exposure to Yersinia pestis. J Med Entomol May;44 3 [ Abstract ]. A spatial model of shared risk for plague and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the southwestern United States. Persistence of Yersinia pestis in soil under natural conditions. Emerg Infect Dis Jun;14 6 [ Full text ]. Residence-linked human plague in New Mexico: a habitat-suitability model. Protection against bubonic and pneumonic plague with a single dose microencapsulated sub-unit vaccine.

Vaccine May 15;24 2 [ Abstract ]. Modeling relationships between climate and the frequency of human plague cases in the southwestern United States, FDA approves new antibacterial treatment for plague. Apr 27, [ Press release ]. Clinical recognition and management of patients exposed to biological warfare agents. In vitro activities of 14 antibiotics against human isolates of Yersinia pestis from a southern African plague focus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother Nov;40 11 [ Full text ]. Susceptibility of Yersinia pestis to novel and conventional antimicrobial agents. J Antimicrob Chemother Aug;52 2 [ Full text ].

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Health Lab Sci Jan;5 1 Dog-associated risk factors for human plague. Zoonoses Public Health Oct;55 [ Abstract ]. Immunohistochemical detection of Yersinia pestis in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue. Persistent Yersinia pestis antigens in ischemic tissues of a patient with septicemic plague. Hum Pathol Jul;36 7 [ Abstract ]. Defective innate cell response and lymph node infiltration specify Yersinia pestis infection. Gupta ML, Sharma A. Pneumonic plague, northern India, Emerg Infect Dis Apr;13 4 [ Full text ].

Comparison of 2 antibiotics that inhibit protein synthesis for the treatment of infection with Yersinia pestis delivered by aerosol in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. J Infect Dis Sep 1; 5 [ Full text ]. Possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins: final rule. Fed Reg Oct 3;77 [ Full text ]. Development of an automated sample preparation module for environmental monitoring of biowarfare agents.

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Yersinia pestis

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Trends in human plague in the United States. J Infect Dis ; 4 [ Abstract ]. Detection of viable Yersinia pestis by fluorescence in situ hybridization using peptide nucleic acid probes. J Microbiol Methods Oct;75 2 [ Abstract ]. Identification and characterization of variable-number tandem repeats in the Yersinia pestis genome. J Clin Microbiol Sep;39 9 [ Full text ]. Kool JL. Risk of person-to-person transmission of pneumonic plague. A plasminogen-activating protease specifically controls the development of primary pneumonic plague. Science Jan 26; [ Abstract ].

Plague and the human flea, Tanzania. Emerg Infect Dis May;13 5 [ Full text ]. Clinical and epidemiologic notes on a defined outbreak of plague in Vietnam. Outbreak of gastroenteritis caused by Yersinia pestis in Afghanistan. Epidemiol Infect May; 5 [ Full text ]. Serologic survey of the sentinel animals for plague surveillance and screening for complementary diagnostic markers to F1 antigen by protein microarray.

Rapid field detection of biological agents. Detection of Yersinia pestis in sputum by real-time PCR. J Clin Microbiol Oct;41 10 [ Full text ]. Poor vector competence of fleas and the evolution of hypervirulence in Yersinia pestis. J Infect Dis Jun 1; 11 [ Full text ]. Impact of resistance selection and mutant growth fitness on the relative efficacies of streptomycin and levofloxacin for plague therapy. Antimicrob Agents Chemother Aug;51 8 [ Full text ]. Identifying sources of human exposure to plague. J Clin Microbiol Feb;43 2 [ Full text ]. Infect Immun Nov;73 11 [ Full text ].

Range-wide determinants of plague distribution in North America. Mann JM, Moskowitz. Plague and pregnancy: a case report. Pediatric plague. Pediatrics Jun;69 6 [ Abstract ]. Modelling outbreak control for pneumonic plague. Epidemiol Infect Jul; 5 [ Abstract ]. A real-time fluorescence polymerase chain reaction assay for the identification of Yersinia pestis using a field-deployable thermocycler. Mil Med Oct; 10 [ Abstract ]. Autonomous detection of aerosolized Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. Anal Chem Oct 15;75 20 [ Abstract ]. Cutaneous manifestations of biological warfare and related threat agents.

Arch Dermatol Mar; 3 [ Abstract ]. Textbook of military medicine: medical aspects of chemical and biological warfare. Meyer KF. Pneumonic plague. Bacteriol Rev Sep; [ Full text ]. Treatment of plague with gentamicin or doxycycline in a randomized clinical trial in Tanzania. Clin Infect Dis Mar 1;42 5 [ Full text ].

Climate change effects on plague and tularemia in the United States. National Biodefense Science Board. Where are the countermeasures? Human plague occurrences in Africa: an overview from to New Horizons Diagnostics Inc. Imaging of bubonic plague dynamics by in vivo tracking of bioluminescent Yersinia pestis. Development of a diagnostic test for Yersinia pestis by the polymerase chain reaction.

J Appl Bacteriol Mar;76 3 [ Abstract ]. Osterholm MT, Schwartz J. Living terrors: what America needs to know to survive the coming bioterrorist catastrophe. New York: Delacorte Press, Beyond anthrax: the weaponization of infectious diseases. Towata, NJ: Humana Press, An optimized vaccine vector based on recombinant stomatitis virus gives high-level, long-term protection against Yersinia pestis challenge. Vaccine Jan 8;25 4 [ Abstract ].

Clinical features of plague in the United States: the epidemic. J Infect Dis Oct; 4 [ Abstract ]. Complete genome sequence of a multiple drug resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi CT Nature Oct 25; [ Full text ]. Yersina pestis—etiologic agent of plague. Clin Microbiol Rev Jan;10 1 [ Full text ]. Correlates of environmental factors and human plague: an ecological study in Vietnam.

Int J Epidemiol Dec;38 6 [ Abstract ]. Tandem repeats analysis for the high resolution phylogenetic analysis of Yersinia pestis. Pulmonary infection by Yersinia pestis rapidly establishes a permissive environment for microbial proliferation. Ratsitorahina M, Chanteau S, Rahalison, et al. Epidemiological and diagnostic aspects of the outbreak of pneumonic plague in Madagascar.

Lancet Jan 8; [ Abstract ]. Bubonic plague in the southwestern United States: a review of recent experience. Medicine Baltimore ;49 6 [ Excerpt ]. Research International [ Home page ]. A B cell-based sensor for rapid identification of pathogens. Science Jul 11; [ Abstract ]. Fatal laboratory-acquired infection with an attenuated Yersinia pestis strain—Chicago, Illinois, Vaccination with F1-V fusion protein protects black-footed ferrets Mustela nigripes against plague upon oral challenge with Yersinia pestis.

J Wildl Dis Jan;44 1 [ Abstract ]. Vapour-phase hydrogen peroxide inactivates Yersinia pestis dried on polymers, steel, and glass surfaces. Lett Appl Microbiol ;47 4 [ Abstract ]. Evaluation of the effectiveness of antibacterial substances in treating an experimental form of bubonic plague in monkeys.

Antibiot Khimioter ;46 8 [ Abstract ]. Effect of antibacterial therapy on the epidemic threat of experimental pneumonic plague in monkeys. Antibiot Khimioter ;46 4 [ Abstract ]. Survival of Yersinia pestis on environmental surfaces. Appl Environ Microbiol Apr;69 4 [ Full text ]. Cethromycin-mediated protection against the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis in a rat model of infection and comparison with levofloxacin.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother Nov;55 11 [ Abstract ]. Perceptions and reactions with regard to pneumonic plague. Emerg Infect Dis Jan;16 1 [ Full text ]. Doxycycline or ciprofloxacin prophylaxis and therapy against experimental Yersinia pestis infection in mice. J Antimicrob Chemother Apr;37 4 [ Full text ]. Characteristics of etiotropic therapy of plague infection induced by atypical strains of F1-phenotype plague microbe. Antibiot Khimioter ;43 9 [ Abstract ]. The potential role of swift foxes Vulpes velox and their fleas in plague outbreaks in prairie dogs.

J Wildl Dis Jul;43 3 [ Abstract ]. Emerg Infect Dis Jul;18 7 [ Full text ]. Targeted enrichment of ancient pathogens yielding the pPCP1 plasmid of Yersinia pestis from victims of the Black Death. Adaptive response of Yersinia pestis to extracellular effectors of innate immunity during bubonic plague.

Sewell DL. Laboratory safety practices associated with potential agents of biocrime or bioterrorism. J Clin Microbiol Jul;41 7 [ Full text ]. Antibiotics of the aminoglycoside group gentamicin, sisomicin and amikacin in the prevention and treatment of experimental plague. Antibiot Khimioter May;37 5 [ Abstract ].

In vitro antimicrobial susceptibilities of strains of Yersinia pestis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother Sep;39 9 [ Full text ]. Vol 2. Complete genome sequence of Yersinia pestis strain , an isolate avirulent to humans. Steenhuysen J. Plague researcher in Chicago dies from infection. Reuters Sep 21 [ Full text ]. Efficacy of the latest fluoroquinolones against experimental Yersinia pestis. Infect Immun published online Feb 2 [ Abstract ]. Yersinia pestis and plague. Biochem Soc Trans Feb;31 pt 1 [ Full text ]. Br Med Bull ;54 3 [ Full text ].

Vaccination against bubonic and pneumonic plague. Vaccine ;19 30 [ Abstract ]. Rapid detection of Yersinia pestis with multiplex real-time PCR assays using fluorescent hybridisation probes. Efficient tracing of global isolates of Yersina pestis by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis using three insertion sequences as probes. J Clin Microbiol Jun;44 6 [ Full text ]. Inducing systemic and mucosal immune responses to B-T construct of F1 antigen of Yersinia pestis in microsphere delivery. Vaccine Apr 12;24 16 [ Abstract ]. Lack of antimicrobial resistance in Yersinia pestis isolates from 17 countries in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother Jan;56 1 [ Abstract ]. Bubonic plague from direct exposure to a naturally occurring infected wild coyote. No resistance plasmid in Yersinia pestis, North America. Protection against lethal subcutaneous challenge of virulent Y pestis strain using an F1-V subunit vaccine. Risks and prevention of nosocomial transmission of rare zoonotic diseases.

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J Immunol Jan 15; 2 [ Full text ]. A whole-genome shotgun optical map of Yersinia pestis strain KIM. Appl Environ Microbiol Dec;68 12 [ Full text ]. Identification of signature genes for rapid and specific characterization of Yersinia pestis. Microbiol Immunol ;48 4 [ Abstract ]. Molecular and physiological insights into plague transmission, virulence and etiology.

Interdiscplinary approaches to the 14th century crises in Europe

Microbes Infect Jan;8 1 [ Abstract ]. Genetics of metabolic variations between Yersinia pestis biovars and the proposal of a new biovar, microtus. J Bacteriol Aug; 15 [ Full text ]. Trends of human plague, Madagascar, Emerg Infect Dis published online Jan 7. Bertherat E. Plague around the world in Weekly Epidemiol Rec Jun 21;94 25 The third plague pandemic in Europe. Proc R Soc B published online Apr Development of a multiple-antigen protein fusion vaccine candidate that confers protection against Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis. Ancient Yersinia pestis genomes from across Western Europe reveal early diversification during the first pandemic Estimation of pneumonic plague transmission in Madagascar, August-November Epidemiological characteristics of an urban plague epidemic in Madagascar, August—November, an outbreak report.

Lancet Infect Dis published online Mar Pneumonic plague in a dog and widespread potential human exposure in a veterinary hospital, United States. Emerg Infect Dis Apr;25 4 A bacteriophage T4 nanoparticle-based dual vaccine against anthrax and plague. Post-exposure administration of a Yersinia pestis live vaccine potentiates second-line antibiotic treatment against pneumonic plague. J Infect Dis published online May All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Skip to main content.

University of Minnesota. Driven to Discover. Site Search. Staff Mission Contact Us. Plague Share this page:. Overview Last updated February 27, Agent and Pathogenesis. Biovar antiqua Africa, southeastern Russia, central Asia Biovar medievalis Caspian Sea Biovar orientalis Asia, Western Hemisphere Previously, the three biovars were thought to be responsible for the first, second, and third pandemics, respectively.

Other classification and diversity information includes: A nonvirulent strain, microtus, has been proposed as a fourth biovar Zhou Genetics of metabolic variations between Yersinia pestis biovars and the proposal of a new biovar, microtus. Y pestis is thought to have evolved from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis 1, to 20, years ago, and the two species remain closely related Achtman Whole-genome sequence comparisons have identified 32 chromosomal genes and 2 plasmids in Y pestis but not Y pseudotuberculosis Chain The complete genomes of several strains have been sequenced and are available online National Center for Biotechnology Information , Parkhill , Song , Zhou Back to top Pathogenesis Virulence Factors Virulence factors for Y pestis are primarily encoded on the chromosome and on three plasmids the Pst plasmid, the Lcr plasmid, and the pFra plasmid Dennis The major virulence factors for Y pestis are responsible for the following activities Dennis , McGovern , Perry , Titball : The ability of Y pestis organisms to adhere to cell surfaces is a key step in pathogenesis.

Irreversible binding to host cell receptors via adhesins allows the organisms to then penetrate the cell surfaces Zhou The F1 antigen is antiphagocytic, elicits a humoral response, and is a target for immunologic-based diagnostic tests. Most pathogenic Y pestis strains isolated from humans contain the F1 antigen.

Plasminogen activator Pla is a protease that appears to degrade fibrin and other extracellular proteins and to facilitate systemic spread from the inoculation site. Expression of Pla allows Y pestis to replicate rapidly in the airways. Pla is essential for Y pestis to cause primary pneumonic plague but is less important for dissemination during pneumonic than bubonic plague Lathem Yersinia outer proteins Yops have a variety of activities, including inhibiting phagocytosis, inhibiting platelet aggregation, and preventing an effective inflammatory response.

Lipopolysaccharide LPS endotoxin encoded on the chromosome causes the classic features of endotoxic shock. LPS consists of three domains: the hydrophobic membrane anchor lipid A , the surface-exposed O-antigen polysaccharide, and the core sugar region connecting the other two. Effectors secreted by the type 3 secretion system enable immunosuppression in the lungs, allowing for rapid, uninhibited growth of Y pestis during the early preinflammatory phase of infection. These effectors alone, however, are not sufficient for this immune suppression to occur Price Phospholipase D PLD allows the bacilli to survive in the flea midgut.

Yersinia murine toxin Ymt is one of the factors required for maintaining Y pestis in fleas. Ymt is highly toxic for mice and rats but less active in other animals Zhou Bubonic Plague After a flea initially ingests Y pestis , the organisms elaborate a coagulase that clots ingested blood in the proventriculus an organ between the esophagus and stomach of the flea, thus blocking passage of the next blood meal into the flea's stomach.

Fleas with this blockage regurgitate Y pestis into the bite wound while attempting to feed Perry From 25, to , Y pestis organisms are inoculated into the skin via the bite of an infected flea Reed As few as 1 to 10 organisms are sufficient to cause infection via the subcutaneous, intradermal, oral, or intravenous routes Worsham The organisms migrate through the cutaneous lymphatics to regional lymph nodes. Comparative studies in mice reveal that Y pestis virulence is associated with a distinct ability to massively infiltrate the draining lymph node without inducing an organized polymorphonuclear cell reaction Guinet Once in the lymph nodes, they are phagocytized by polymorphonuclear neutrophils PMNs and mononuclear phagocytes.

Yersinia Pestis Retrospective And Perspective

Organisms that are phagocytized by PMNs generally are destroyed, whereas those phagocytized by mononuclear cells proliferate intracellularly and develop resistance to further phagocytosis Perry These organisms are released when cell lysis occurs. Initially, a thick, proteinaceous exudate that includes plague bacilli, PMNs, lymphocytes, and fewer macrophages can be found in affected nodes Dennis Subsequently, the exudative pattern gives way to lakes of hemorrhagic necrosis, which obliterate the underlying lymph node architecture.

A ground-glass amphophilic material that represents masses of bacilli may be present CDC The inflammatory process creates swollen painful buboes and surrounding edematous tissues that are characteristic of bubonic plague. Bubo location is a function of the site of inoculation of plague bacilli by the infected flea Worsham The organisms often enter the bloodstream, causing hemorrhagic lesions in other lymph nodes and in organs throughout the body initially the liver and spleen.

Findings from a study using a mouse model suggest that the organisms replicate in splenic macrophages during the later stages of infection Lukaszewski Septicemia, disseminated intravascular coagulation DIC , and shock can ensue. Unless treated promptly with appropriate antibiotic therapy, death usually results from overwhelming sepsis. A mild bacteremia then develops and is cleared by the liver and spleen.


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Once the liver and spleen reach their filtering capacity, terminal septicemia develops. The study also showed that the primary location of multiplication of Y pestis is the secondary lymph nodes and that disease progression after colonization of the secondary lymph nodes is rapid Nham Septicemic Plague Primary septicemic plague is defined as systemic toxicity caused by Y pestis infection but without apparent preceding lymph node involvement. Secondary septicemic plague occurs commonly with either bubonic or primary pneumonic plague. In primary septicemic plague, Y pestis organisms can disseminate from a fleabitesite through thelymphatic system but without clinically apparent involvement of the lymph nodes , directly through the circulatory system, orboth Sebbane Septicemic plague causes sepsis syndrome with multiorgan involvement, DIC, and shock.

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Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective
Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective
Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective
Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective
Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective
Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective
Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective Yersinia pestis: Retrospective and Perspective
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