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AWidefield Light Microscopy-Based Approach Provides Further Insights into the Colonization of the Flea Proventriculus by Yersinia pestis

Yersinia pestis (the agent of flea-borne plague) must obstruct the flea’s proventriculus to maintain transmission to a mammalian host. To this end, Y. pestis must consolidate a mass that entrapped Y. pestis within the proventriculus very early after its ingestion. We developed a semiautomated fluorescent image analysis method and used it to monitor and compare colonization of the flea proventriculus by a fully competent flea-blocking Y. pestis strain, a partially competent strain, and a noncompetent strain.