Chapter 13 : Part III Overview

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This chapter presents an overview on pathogenic organisms. Lan and Reeves describe the evolution of three important groups of enteric pathogens, , (including ), and spp. At one time, the genus was divided into more than 2,000 species based on surface and flagella antigens, but these are now considered to be one species, , which is subdivided into seven subspecies and 2,501 serovars. is a recently emerged clone that shares 99.7% identity in 16S ribosomal RNA with and might more properly called Pestis. This clone has acquired additional virulence factors such as murine toxin (Ymt) and plasminogen activator (Pla) that allow it to colonize the flea gut, be transmitted to a new host via biting, and disseminate hematogenously from the infected site. Clonal associations probably reflect the historical or prehistorical dissemination of with human migrations, similar to the associations that have been established for . The great diversity of fungi, among which pathogenic species are dispersed across three phyla, plus the lack of information on virulence factors and the pathogenesis of fungal infections make the promulgation of generalized concepts for the evolution of fungal pathogens extremely difficult, if not impossible. In some cases, such as Legionnaires’ disease, archived clinical specimens may reveal that the disease existed decades ago but appropriate diagnostic techniques did not yet exist.

Citation: Kaper J. 2006. Part III Overview, p 245-250. In Seifert H, DiRita V (ed), Evolution of Microbial Pathogens. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815622.ch13
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