The yersiniae--a model genus to study the rapid evolution of bacterial pathogens

Wren, BW; (2003) The yersiniae--a model genus to study the rapid evolution of bacterial pathogens. Nature reviews Microbiology, 1 (1). pp. 55-64. ISSN 1740-1526 DOI:

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Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, seems to have evolved from a gastrointestinal pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, in just 1,500-20,000 years--an 'eye blink' in evolutionary time. The third pathogenic Yersinia, Yersinia enterocolitica, also causes gastroenteritis but is distantly related to Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis. Why do the two closely related species cause remarkably different diseases, whereas the distantly related enteropathogens cause similar symptoms? The recent availability of whole-genome sequences and information on the biology of the pathogenic yersiniae have shed light on this paradox, and revealed ways in which new, highly virulent pathogens can evolve.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Animals, *Evolution, Genome, Bacterial, Human, Plague/epidemiology/microbiology, Plasmids, Pseudogenes, Species Specificity, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Virulence/genetics, World Health, *Yersinia/genetics/metabolism/pathogenicity, Yersinia Infections/microbiology/transmission, Yersinia enterocolitica/genetics/pathogenicity, Yersinia pestis/genetics/pathogenicity, Animals, Evolution, Genome, Bacterial, Human, Plague, epidemiology, microbiology, Plasmids, Pseudogenes, Species Specificity, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Virulence, genetics, World Health, Yersinia, genetics, metabolism, pathogenicity, Yersinia Infections, microbiology, transmission, Yersinia enterocolitica, genetics, pathogenicity, Yersinia pestis, genetics, pathogenicity
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
PubMed ID: 15040180
Web of Science ID: 220254100015


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