Essay on Yersinia Pestis - The Plague

Essay on Yersinia Pestis - The Plague

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After a series of biochemical tests and evaluation to determine several unknown bacteria, the bacterium Yersinia pestis was chosen to report. The discovery of Y. pestis dates back to 1894 by French/Swiss physician and bacteriologist named Alexandre Yersin. The name Yersinia pestis is synonymous with its more common name, the plague. Y. pestis is known to infect small rodents such as mice and rats, but is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected animal or flea. Although this bacterium is known to still cause illness today, it is infamous for three pandemics that occurred in earlier centuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first recorded pandemic occurred in 541 A.D. and is known as the Justinian Plague. The second pandemic originated in China in 1334 and has received the egregious name the “Black Death.” Finally, the third outbreak took place in the 1860’s and is known as the Modern Plague. It wasn’t until the end of the Modern Plague that scientists discovered the causative agent and mode of transmission of the Yersinia pestis bacterium.
Yersinia pestis is a zoonosis disease categorized in the family enterobacteriaceae. It is a non-spore forming, gram-negative coccobacilli that, when grown on agar, forms pin-point white/translucent colonies. Defining qualities of the Y. pestis are it’s bipolar staining, it’s negative test results for lactose fermentation, urease, and indole production, and positive testing for catalase. This pleomorphic bacterium is facultatively aerobic with an optimal growth temperature at 28 degrees Celsius. At temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius, it appears the Y. pestis is non-motile, but at temperatures less than 30 degrees Ce...


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...uciana L. "Challenges to the Laboratory Diagnosis of Yersinia Pestis in the Clinical Laboratory." Lab Diagnosis of Y. Pestis. UPMC Center for Health Security, 29 Dec. 2005. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

Du, Yidong, Roland Rosqvist, and Ake Forsberg. "Role of Fraction 1 Antigen of Yersinia pestis in Inhibition of Phagocytosis." Role of Fraction 1 Antigen of Yersinia Pestis in Inhibition of Phagocytosis. American Society for Microbiology, 05 Dec. 2001. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

"Plague." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 June 2012. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

"Plague." Treatment at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

"Yersinia Pestis - Plague -- Discover Life." Yersinia Pestis - Plague -- Discover Life. The Global Invasive Species Database, 31 Mar. 2006. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

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