During the years that have elapsed since the publication of Pollitzer’s classic monograph on plague in 1954,(1) several signal events have followed which have changed our understanding and concepts of this disease. First, the name of the organism was changed from Pasteurella pestis to Yersinia pestis. The newly named genus Yersinia was classified in the family of bacteria Enterobacteriaceae and included Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis, as well as the plague bacillus. Thus, plague joined the same bacterial family as Escherichia coli and it became easier to think of plague as a gram-negative rod bacterial infection. There evolved concurrently a growing awareness of Y. enterocolitica as a pathogen capable of causing febrile gastroenteritis, as well as an acute appendicitislike syndrome.


Yersinia Enterocolitica Yersinia Pestis Supplemental Issue Bacterial Family Bereave Parent 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Butler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.International Center for Diarrhoeal ResearchDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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