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Current Vaccine Development against Plague

Yersinia pestis, the causative organism of the plague, has played an important role in shaping human history. Plague is an illness that may manifest in bubonic, pneumonic, or septicemic form. Natural outbreaks devastated entire populations in medieval times and an estimated 200 million humans were killed by plague throughout history. The organism can still be found today throughout the world, including the United States. Approximately 2,000 cases of plague are reported each year to the World Health Organization. The potential use of the bacteria in modern times as an agent of bioterrorism makes understanding this organism a priority. The author reviews the current vaccine development against plague after a brief description of the history of plague pandemics

Author(s): Wei Sun

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