Deborah Anderson, PhD


  • PhD, Microbiology & Immunology
Deborah Anderson

Building Address: E-111 Veterinary Medicine Building
Phone Number: 573-882-7038


Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of the plague, a highly infectious, rapidly spreading flea-borne disease that affects most mammals, including humans. It is a recently evolving pathogen, growing in its virulence and environmental stability from its most recent ancestors. The bacteria infect from a variety of routes, including through the skin via a flea bite and the inhalation of infectious aerosols, both routes of transmission that do not occur in its genetically related pathogens. These properties are the result of the ability of the bacterium to replicate to high titers in the blood whereby transmission to the flea vector and entry into the respiratory environment are enabled. Two major bacterial virulence factors, the type III secretion system and the pigmentation locus carry out immune evasion necessary for disease. Our laboratory is interested in understanding the underlying host pathogen interactions involving these virulence factors that contribute to the extreme virulence of Y. pestis, enhanced transmission to the flea vector and the worldwide persistence of the plague.


M7404 Bacterial Pathogenesis (co-Instructor)
M9001 Structure and Synthesis of Macromolecules (co-Instructor)


Lee-Lewis, H and Anderson, DM. 2010. Absence of inflammation and pneumonia reveal new role for the pigmentation locus during Yersinia pestis infections. Infect Immun, 78(1):220-230. PMCID: PMC2798233

Eisele, NA, Lee-Lewis, H, Besch-Williford, C, Brown, CR, and Anderson, DM. 2011. Chemokine Receptor CXCR2 Mediates Bacterial Clearance Rather than Neutrophil Recruitment in a Murine Model of Pneumonic Plague. Am J Pathol. 178(3):1190-1200. PMID: 21356370.

Bland, DM, Eisele, NA, Keleher, LL, Anderson, PE, Anderson, DM.  2011.  Novel Genetic Tools for Diaminopimelic Acid Selection in Virulence Studies of Yersinia pestisPLoS One. 6(3):e17352. PMID:21399698.

Chen, YQ and Anderson, DM.  2011.  Expression Hierarchy in the Yersinia type III Secretion System Established through YopD Recognition of mRNA.  Mol Microbiol. 80(4):966-80.

Eisele, NA and Anderson, DM. 2011. Host Defense and the Airway Epithelium: Frontline Responses that Protect against Bacterial Invasion and Pneumonia. J Path,2011:249802. PMID: 22567325

Patel, AA, Lee-Lewis, H, Hughes-Hanks, J, Lewis, CA, Brown, CR, and Anderson, DM. 2012.Opposing roles for Interferon Regulatory Factor-3 (IRF-3) and Type I Interferon Signaling during Plague.  PLoS Pathog,8(7):e1002817. PMID:22911267.

Peters, KN, Dhariwala, MO, Hughes-Hanks, JM, Brown, CR, Anderson, DM. 2013. Early apoptosis of macrophages modulated by injection of Yersinia pestis YopK promotes progression of primary pneumonic plague. PLoS Pathog, 9(4):e1003324. PMID: 23633954