Preventing the early host immune defense allows pathogenic Yersinia to proliferate in lymphatic tissue. This ability depends on signaling that occurs between the bacteria and the host cells. Following intimate contact with the target cell a signal is generated within the bacterium that results in increased expression of virulence-associated proteins that are subsequently delivered into the infected cell. These proteins, designated Yops, interfere with the host-cell signaling pathways that are normally activated to eliminate infectious agents.
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