Fast And Furious: The Yersinia Pesti Case Study

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Fast and Furious: The Yersinia pestis Bacterium
In 2014, Italy auctioned off Poveglia, one of its islands near Venice, for about $700,000 in order to help pay off some of the country’s national debt and conform to the European Union’s budgeting guidelines (Landini & Trogni, 2014). To most people, the thought of an Italian island near Venice may evoke charm, romance, and exoticness. Unfortunately, Poveglia is not that island. With its sordid past, Poveglia has been a deserted island for over 40 years – with locals and tourists both being barred from even visiting (Poveglia Island, n.d.). It has had an enduring reputation for being haunted– one noteworthy reason being the Black Death that devastated much of southern Europe during the 13th
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pestis bacteria have been so successful in infecting and causing pandemics because of their ability to escape and avoid the host’s immune system (Ke, Chen, & Yang, 2013). Once a person is bitten by infected fleas, the Y. pestis bacteria enter the bloodstream, where they are accosted by macrophages and neutrophils (Ke, Chen, & Yang, 2013). While the neutrophils can typically kill these invaders (Ke, Chen, & Yang, 2013), the macrophages are challenged by Y. pestis’s “zippering” mechanism (Ke, Chen, & Yang, 2013). When “zippering”, the bacteria’s surface ligands bind to the macrophages, which ingest the bacterial cells (Ke, Chen, & Yang, 2013). Once inside, these bacteria escape from the macrophages and then become impervious to phagocytosis by the host’s immune system (Ke, Chen, & Yang, 2013). During this time of the initial stages of infection (3-7 days), an individual suffers with flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, a high fever, and aches (Plague,…show more content…
Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) utilizes the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) to help limit the spread of plague and hopefully avoid a new epidemic from emerging (Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), 2016). The GOARN, a partnership of existing institutions (scientific, laboratory, technical, etc.), assembles the necessary resources for the identification, authentication, and response to outbreaks, such as for the Black Death (Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN),
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