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Chen Lei 1 Article
Yersinia pestis antibiotic resistance: a systematic review
Chen Lei, Suresh Kumar
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022;13(1):24-36.   Published online February 18, 2022
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Yersinia pestis, the cause of plague and a potential biological weapon, has always been a threatening pathogen. Some strains of Y. pestis have varying degrees of antibiotic resistance. Thus, this systematic review was conducted to alert clinicians to this pathogen’s potential antimicrobial resistance. A review of the literature was conducted for experimental reports and systematic reviews on the topics of plague, Y. pestis, and antibiotic resistance. From 1995 to 2021, 7 Y. pestis isolates with 4 antibiotic resistance mechanisms were reported. In Y. pestis 17/95, 16/95, and 2180H, resistance was mediated by transferable plasmids. Each plasmid contained resistance genes encoded within specific transposons. Strain 17/95 presented multiple drug resistance, since plasmid 1202 contained 10 resistance determinants. Strains 16/95 and 2180H showed single antibiotic resistance because both additional plasmids in these strains carried only 1 antimicrobial determinant. Strains 12/87, S19960127, 56/13, and 59/13 exhibited streptomycin resistance due to an rpsl gene mutation, a novel mechanism that was discovered recently. Y. pestis can acquire antibiotic resistance in nature not only via conjugative transfer of antimicrobial-resistant plasmids from other bacteria, but also by gene point mutations. Global surveillance should be strengthened to identify antibiotic-resistant Y. pestis strains by whole-genome sequencing and drug susceptibility testing.


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