Query: NC_017168:3192817 Yersinia pestis A1122 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Yersinia pestis; Yersinia; Enterobacteriaceae; Enterobacteriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Specific virulence factors are encoded within pathogenicity islands (PAIs) that are required for the invasive phenotype associated with Yersinia infections. One key virulence plasmid contained by the three human-specific pathogens is pCD1/pYv, which encodes a type III secretion system for the delivery of virulence proteins that contribute to internalization into the host cell. It is the causative agent of plague (bubonic and pulmonary) a devastating disease which has killed millions worldwide. The organism can be transmitted from rats to humans through the bite of an infected flea or from human-to-human through the air during widespread infection. Yersinia pestis is an extremely pathogenic organism that requires very few numbers in order to cause disease, and is often lethal if left untreated. The organism is enteroinvasive, and can survive and propagate in macrophages prior to spreading systemically throughout the host. Yersinia pestis also contains a PAI on the chromosome that is similar to the SPI-2 PAI from Salmonella that allows intracellular survival in the organism.
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General Information: This strain was isolated on Trinidad and Tobago. It is a symbiont of the nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. Bioluminescent bacterium. This organism is unusual in that it is symbiotic within one insect, and pathogenic in another, the only organism that is known to exhibit this dual phenotype. Enzymes are then released by the bacteria that result in rapid degradation of the insect body, allowing both bacteria and nematode to feed and reproduce. During this period Photorhabdus luminescens releases bacteriocidal products, including antibiotics and bacteriocins, that prevent infection of the larva by competitive microbes. The result is promotion of Photorhabdus luminescens-nematode interactions that result in continuation of the symbiotic relationship. In order to engage in a symbiotic relationship with the nematode and a pathogenic one with the insect larva, the bacterium encodes specific factors that encourage both. These include a large number of genes that code for secreted toxins and enzymes, as well as genes that encode products for the production of antibiotics and bacteriocins. Secretion of these products occurs by an array of systems including type I, type II, and type III secretion systems. The type III system is closely related to the Yersinia plasmid-encoded type III system. Genes that promote symbiotic relationships are also encoded on genomic islands on the chromosome including some that affect nematode development. Virulence genes appear to be active during exponential growth. Symbiotic genes appear to function during stationary phase (post-exponential) growth. The switch from one state to another is controlled. Photorhabdus luminescens is capable of giving off light, a complex process that requires the products of the lux operon.