Yersinia pestis pFra shows biovar-specific differences and recent common ancestry with a Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi plasmid

M. B. Prentice, K. D. James, J. Parkhill, S. G. Baker, K. Stevens, M. N. Simmonds, K. L. Mungall, C. Churcher, P. C.F. Oyston, R. W. Titball, B. W. Wren, J. Wain, D. Pickard, T. T. Hien, J. J. Farrar, G. Dougan

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Abstract

Population genetic studies suggest that Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague, is a clonal pathogen that has recently emerged from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Plasmid acquisition is likely to have been a key element in this evolutionary leap from an enteric to a flea-transmitted systemic pathogen. However, the origin of Y. pestis-specific plasmids remains obscure. We demonstrate specific plasmid rearrangements in different Y. pestis strains which distinguish Y. pestis by. Orientalis strains from other biovars. We also present evidence for plasmid-associated DNA exchange between Y. pestis and the exclusively human pathogen Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2586-2594
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Volume183
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes

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