Help: Yersinia taxonomy

Bruce Micales bmicales at facstaff.wisc.edu
Tue Apr 18 22:30:05 EST 1995

In article <bmicales.203.00179688 at facstaff.wisc.edu> bmicales at facstaff.wisc.edu (Bruce Micales) writes:
>Hello one and all:

>I am compling a list of bacterial names that despite what has been found, the 
>old names have been retained due to their medical importance.  One such 
>organism (that I recall) is Yersinia pestis.  I seem to recall (and this is 
>only from memory and therefore may be incorrect)  that a taxonomy study was 
>done and it was discovered that Yersinia pestis was in fact a subspecies of 
>Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.  However, due to the potential confusion this 
>might cause, it was decided to keep the older name Yersinia pestis because of 
>its medical importance.

>Does anyone know if this is true and if so please give me the reference.  I 
>have not tried searching the library yet (this question arose over the weekend 
>and I thought I had it in my notes -- 10 years old).

I had a chance to look at some of my old issues of IJSB and yes in fact 
Yersinina pestis and Yersinia psedotuberculosis are related taxonomically and 
the former is in fact a subspecies of the latter.  However, due to the 
potential "serious consequences for human welfare and health" the name 
Yersinia pseudotuberculosis subsp. pestis was rejected and this bacterium was 
name Yersinia pestis.

The reference for this is:

Opinion 60 : Rejection of the Name Yersinia psedutuberculosis subsp. pestis 
(van Loghem) Bercovier et al. 1981 and Conservation of the Name Yersinia 
pestis (Lehmann and Neumann) van Loghem 1944 for the Plague Bacillus. 1985.  
International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology (IJSB) Vol. 35:p. 540.

Nice to know that even at my age, the memory still works :-).

Thank you again

Bruce Micales

Bruce Micales
bmicales at facstaff.wisc.edu
Department of Anatomy
Amateur Radio : WA2DEU

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