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Abstract

There exists an enormous diversity of bacteria capable of human infection, but no up-to-date, publicly accessible list is available. Combining a pragmatic definition of pathogenicity with an extensive search strategy, we report 1513 bacterial pathogens known to infect humans described pre-2021. Of these, 73 % were regarded as established (have infected at least three persons in three or more references) and 27 % as putative (fewer than three known cases). Pathogen species belong to 10 phyla and 24 classes scattered throughout the bacterial phylogeny. We show that new human pathogens are discovered at a rapid rate. Finally, we discuss how our results could be expanded to a database, which could provide a useful resource for microbiologists. Our list is freely available and archived on GitHub and Zenodo and we have provided walkthroughs to facilitate access and use.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Natural Environment Research Council (Award NE/R011524/1)
    • Principle Award Recipient: LukeLear
  • Natural Environment Research Council (Award NE/T008083/1)
    • Principle Award Recipient: MichielVos
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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/content/journal/micro/10.1099/mic.0.001269
2022-12-09
2024-05-22
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