Identification of Hylemonella gracilis as an Antagonist of Yersinia pestis Persistence | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2157-2526

Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense
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Research Article

Identification of Hylemonella gracilis as an Antagonist of Yersinia pestis Persistence

David R Pawlowski1,2*, Amy Raslawsky2, Gretchen Siebert2, Daniel J Metzger2, Gerald B Koudelka3 and Richard J Karalus1,2

1CUBRC, Inc.

2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo

3Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo

*Corresponding Author:
David R Pawlowski
CUBRC, Inc., State University of New York at Buffalo
716-829-2236, 3435 Main Street
134 Biomedical Research Building
Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]

Received Date: October 14, 2011; Accepted Date: December 13, 2011; Published Date: December 18, 2011

Citation: Pawlowsk DR, Raslawsky A, Siebert G, Metzger DJ , Koudelka GB, et al. (2011) Identification of Hylemonella gracilis as an Antagonist of Yersinia pestis Persistence. J Bioterr Biodef S3:004. doi: 10.4172/2157-2526.S3-004

Copyright: © 2011 Pawlowsk DR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Yersinia pestis , the etiological agent of plague, has garnered great interest in the Biological Defense community as its intentional release or use as a terror weapon could cause considerable morbidity while incurring incalculable financial costs for restoration and remediation efforts. The plague bacterium is thought to only persist within a host such as a flea or small mammal reservoir. Following an event such as an intentional release however, the plague bacterium would be spread throughout a number of atypical environments such as soil or water ecosystems. Recently, a small number of studies have been published describing the plague bacterium’s persistence in some of these atypical environments. Here we show that Y. pestis can colonize sterilized water microcosms for over 3 years yet when introduced to filtered fresh water microcosms the bacterium Hylemonella gracilis became the dominant bacterium in the microcosm, apparently preventing long-term Y. pestis persistence. The conditioning and outgrowth of H. gracilis on rich media is directly attributable and proportional to the introduction and concentration of Y. pestis to the microcosm.