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University of Louisville scientists aim to disarm Yersinia pestis, the bubonic plague bacteria

Researchers at the University of Louisville are studying Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes bubonic and pneumonic plague, to understand its capacity to evade the immune system. The immune system’s first responders, neutrophils, summon aid by emitting molecules called Leukotriene B4 (LTB4), but Yersinia pestis can block these signals. The study has received a $2.9m grant from the National Institutes of Health. A doctoral student also received a $100k grant from the NIH to research how Yersinia pestis changes vesicles produced by immune cells.

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