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Pronunciation: yer-sin'e-a

Definition: A genus of motile and nonmotile, non-spore-forming bacteria (family Enterobacteriaceae) containing gram-negative, unencapsulated, ovoid to rod-shaped cells; Yersinia are nonmotile at 37°C, but some species are motile at temperatures below 30°C; motile cells are peritrichous; citrate is not used as a sole source of carbon; these organisms are parasitic on humans and other animals; the type species is Yersinia pestis.

[A. J. E. Yersin, Swiss bacteriologist, 1862–1943]

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