Science.gov

Sample records for modern bubonic plague

  1. Shutt up: bubonic plague and quarantine in early modern England.

    PubMed

    Newman, Kira L S

    2012-01-01

    The outbreak of bubonic plague that struck London and Westminster in 1636 provoked the usual frenzied response to epidemics, including popular flight and government-mandated quarantine. The government asserted that plague control measures were acts of public health for the benefit of all. However, contrary to this government narrative of disease prevention there was a popular account that portrayed quarantine and isolation as personal punishment rather than prudent policy. In examining the 1636 outbreak on the parish as well as the individual level, reasons for this inconsistency between official and unofficial perspectives emerge. Quarantine and its effects were not classless, and its implementation was not always strictly in the name of public health. Government application of quarantine was remarkably effective, but it could never be uncontroversial both because of circumstances and because of misuse. The flight of the wealthiest from London and Westminster left only the more socially vulnerable to be quarantined. Though plague policy was financially sensitive to the poorest, it was costly to the middling sort. Another cause of controversy was the government's use of quarantine as a punishment to control individuals found breaking other laws. Though not widely publicized, popular narratives continually included grievances about the cruelty and inequity of quarantine and the militaristic nature of its implementation. Despite these objections, quarantine remained a staple of the government response to plague outbreaks throughout the seventeenth century.

  2. Metapopulation dynamics of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Keeling, M J; Gilligan, C A

    2000-10-19

    Bubonic plague is widely regarded as a disease of mainly historical importance; however, with increasing reports of incidence and the discovery of antibiotic-resistant strains of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis, it is re-emerging as a significant health concerns. Here we bypass the conventional human-disease models, and propose that bubonic plague is driven by the dynamics of the disease in the rat population. Using a stochastic, spatial metapopulation model, we show that bubonic plague can persist in relatively small rodent populations from which occasional human epidemics arise, without the need for external imports. This explains why historically the plague persisted despite long disease-free periods, and how the disease re-occurred in cities with tight quarantine control. In a contemporary setting, we show that human vaccination cannot eradicate the plague, and that culling of rats may prevent or exacerbate human epidemics, depending on the timing of the cull. The existence of plague reservoirs in wild rodent populations has important public-health implications for the transmission to urban rats and the subsequent risk of human outbreaks.

  3. Bubonic and pneumonic plague - Uganda, 2006.

    PubMed

    2009-07-24

    Plague is a life-threatening fleaborne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The most common clinical form is bubonic plague, which is characterized by high fever and regional lymphadenitis. Without treatment, infection can spread from lymph nodes to the lungs, resulting in pneumonic plague and the potential for person-to-person transmission through respiratory droplets. In November 2006, the Uganda Ministry of Health received reports of an increase in bubonic plague cases and a possible outbreak of pneumonic plague among residents in the Arua and Nebbi districts. In response, the Uganda Ministry of Health and CDC conducted a joint investigation in the two districts during November 28-December 30, 2006. Overall, 127 clinical plague cases were identified, along with evidence of a focal pneumonic outbreak in Nebbi District. Median age of the patients was 14 years (range: 2 weeks-65 years); 65 (51%) were female. Twenty-eight (22%) of the 127 patients died. Among the 102 patients with documented symptoms, 90 (88%) had bubonic plague, and 12 (12%) had pneumonic plague. The results of this investigation underscore the need to 1) continue efforts to educate residents of rural Uganda regarding the source, signs, and symptoms of plague and the life-saving importance of seeking treatment; 2) strengthen plague surveillance and diagnostic capabilities; and 3) improve emergency response and vector-control capacity, especially in remote regions of the country.

  4. Vaccination against bubonic and pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Titball, R W; Williamson, E D

    2001-07-20

    Yersinia pestis is the etiological agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague, diseases which have caused over 200 milllion human deaths in the past. Plague still occurs throughout the world today, though for reasons that are not fully understood pandemics of disease do not develop from these outbreaks. Antibiotic treatment of bubonic plague is usually effective, but pneumonic plague is difficult to treat and even with antibiotic therapy death often results. A killed whole cell plague vaccine has been used in the past, but recent studies in animals have shown that this vaccine offers poor protection against pneumonic disease. A live attenuated vaccine is also available. Whilst this vaccine is effective, it retains some virulence and in most countries it is not considered to be suitable for use in humans. We review here work to develop improved sub-unit and live attenuated vaccines against plague. A sub-unit vaccine based on the F1- and V-antigens is highly effective against both bubonic and pneumonic plague, when tested in animal models of disease. This vaccine has been used to explore the utility of different intranasal and oral delivery systems, based on the microencapsulation or Salmonella delivery of sub-units.

  5. Urban epidemic of bubonic plague in Majunga, Madagascar: epidemiological aspects.

    PubMed

    Boisier, P; Rasolomaharo, M; Ranaivoson, G; Rasoamanana, B; Rakoto, L; Andrianirina, Z; Andriamahefazafy, B; Chanteau, S

    1997-05-01

    After an absence of 62 years, an epidemic of plague occurred in the harbour city of Majunga (Madagascar) from July 1995 to March 1996, following sporadic cases in March and May 1995. By 15 March 1996, 617 clinically suspected cases of bubonic plague had been notified. Laboratory testing was carried out for 394 individuals: 60 (15.2%) were confirmed to have bubonic plague and 48 (12.2%) were considered as presumptive cases. The incidence was significantly higher in males in all age groups and in both sexes in the 5-19 age group. Twenty-four deaths were related to plague, but early treatment with streptomycin has confirmed its effectiveness insofar as the case-farality ratio was only 8.7% among confirmed and presumptive cases admitted to hospital. The difficulty of clinically diagnosing bubonic plague was affirmed. The disease met favourable conditions through the poverty and low level of hygiene prevalent in most parts of Majunga.

  6. A Deadly Path: Bacterial Spread During Bubonic Plague.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Rodrigo J; Miller, Virginia L

    2016-04-01

    Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plague, a fulminant disease where host immune responses are abrogated. Recently developed in vivo models of plague have resulted in new ideas regarding bacterial spread in the body. Deciphering bacterial spread is key to understanding Y. pestis and the immune responses it encounters during infection. PMID:26875618

  7. A Deadly Path: Bacterial Spread During Bubonic Plague.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Rodrigo J; Miller, Virginia L

    2016-04-01

    Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plague, a fulminant disease where host immune responses are abrogated. Recently developed in vivo models of plague have resulted in new ideas regarding bacterial spread in the body. Deciphering bacterial spread is key to understanding Y. pestis and the immune responses it encounters during infection.

  8. Paleoclimate and bubonic plague: a forewarning of future risk?

    PubMed

    McMichael, Anthony J

    2010-08-27

    Pandemics of bubonic plague have occurred in Eurasia since the sixth century AD. Climatic variations in Central Asia affect the population size and activity of the plague bacterium's reservoir rodent species, influencing the probability of human infection. Using innovative time-series analysis of surrogate climate records spanning 1,500 years, a study in BMC Biology concludes that climatic fluctuations may have influenced these pandemics. This has potential implications for health risks from future climate change.

  9. Paleoclimate and bubonic plague: a forewarning of future risk?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Pandemics of bubonic plague have occurred in Eurasia since the sixth century ad. Climatic variations in Central Asia affect the population size and activity of the plague bacterium's reservoir rodent species, influencing the probability of human infection. Using innovative time-series analysis of surrogate climate records spanning 1,500 years, a study in BMC Biology concludes that climatic fluctuations may have influenced these pandemics. This has potential implications for health risks from future climate change. See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/112 PMID:24576348

  10. Solar Variability and the Decline of the Bubonic Plague

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-10-01

    The bubonic plague was responsible for the deaths of a very large percentage of the population of Europe in ancient times. Leaders of state made promises to “kill off” the plague, were all unsuccessful. It wasn’t the grand promise of a politician, or some new medicinal invention that was responsible for the final decline of the plague. It appears that a chain of events that began 93,000,000 miles away from Earth exerted an impact that lead to the end of the plague’s activity. Some simple changes in solar activity that began in the early 1300’s started the final to break the stranglehold that the plague had on most of Europe. This chain of events will be presented and discussed in this paper.

  11. Recent results on the spatiotemporal modelling and comparative analysis of Black Death and bubonic plague epidemics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christakos, G.; Olea, R.A.; Yu, H.-L.

    2007-01-01

    Background: This work demonstrates the importance of spatiotemporal stochastic modelling in constructing maps of major epidemics from fragmentary information, assessing population impacts, searching for possible etiologies, and performing comparative analysis of epidemics. Methods: Based on the theory previously published by the authors and incorporating new knowledge bases, informative maps of the composite space-time distributions were generated for important characteristics of two major epidemics: Black Death (14th century Western Europe) and bubonic plague (19th-20th century Indian subcontinent). Results: The comparative spatiotemporal analysis of the epidemics led to a number of interesting findings: (1) the two epidemics exhibited certain differences in their spatiotemporal characteristics (correlation structures, trends, occurrence patterns and propagation speeds) that need to be explained by means of an interdisciplinary effort; (2) geographical epidemic indicators confirmed in a rigorous quantitative manner the partial findings of isolated reports and time series that Black Death mortality was two orders of magnitude higher than that of bubonic plague; (3) modern bubonic plague is a rural disease hitting harder the small villages in the countryside whereas Black Death was a devastating epidemic that indiscriminately attacked large urban centres and the countryside, and while the epidemic in India lasted uninterruptedly for five decades, in Western Europe it lasted three and a half years; (4) the epidemics had reverse areal extension features in response to annual seasonal variations. Temperature increase at the end of winter led to an expansion of infected geographical area for Black Death and a reduction for bubonic plague, reaching a climax at the end of spring when the infected area in Western Europe was always larger than in India. Conversely, without exception, the infected area during winter was larger for the Indian bubonic plague; (5) during the

  12. Bubonic plague: a metapopulation model of a zoonosis.

    PubMed

    Keeling, M J; Gilligan, C A

    2000-11-01

    Bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis) is generally thought of as a historical disease; however, it is still responsible for around 1000-3000 deaths each year worldwide. This paper expands the analysis of a model for bubonic plague that encompasses the disease dynamics in rat, flea and human populations. Some key variables of the deterministic model, including the force of infection to humans, are shown to be robust to changes in the basic parameters, although variation in the flea searching efficiency, and the movement rates of rats and fleas will be considered throughout the paper. The stochastic behaviour of the corresponding metapopulation model is discussed, with attention focused on the dynamics of rats and the force of infection at the local spatial scale. Short-lived local epidemics in rats govern the invasion of the disease and produce an irregular pattern of human cases similar to those observed. However, the endemic behaviour in a few rat subpopulations allows the disease to persist for many years. This spatial stochastic model is also used to identify the criteria for the spread to human populations in terms of the rat density. Finally, the full stochastic model is reduced to the form of a probabilistic cellular automaton, which allows the analysis of a large number of replicated epidemics in large populations. This simplified model enables us to analyse the spatial properties of rat epidemics and the effects of movement rates, and also to test whether the emergent metapopulation behaviour is a property of the local dynamics rather than the precise details of the model.

  13. Bubonic plague: a metapopulation model of a zoonosis.

    PubMed Central

    Keeling, M J; Gilligan, C A

    2000-01-01

    Bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis) is generally thought of as a historical disease; however, it is still responsible for around 1000-3000 deaths each year worldwide. This paper expands the analysis of a model for bubonic plague that encompasses the disease dynamics in rat, flea and human populations. Some key variables of the deterministic model, including the force of infection to humans, are shown to be robust to changes in the basic parameters, although variation in the flea searching efficiency, and the movement rates of rats and fleas will be considered throughout the paper. The stochastic behaviour of the corresponding metapopulation model is discussed, with attention focused on the dynamics of rats and the force of infection at the local spatial scale. Short-lived local epidemics in rats govern the invasion of the disease and produce an irregular pattern of human cases similar to those observed. However, the endemic behaviour in a few rat subpopulations allows the disease to persist for many years. This spatial stochastic model is also used to identify the criteria for the spread to human populations in terms of the rat density. Finally, the full stochastic model is reduced to the form of a probabilistic cellular automaton, which allows the analysis of a large number of replicated epidemics in large populations. This simplified model enables us to analyse the spatial properties of rat epidemics and the effects of movement rates, and also to test whether the emergent metapopulation behaviour is a property of the local dynamics rather than the precise details of the model. PMID:11413636

  14. Dissociation of Tissue Destruction and Bacterial Expansion during Bubonic Plague.

    PubMed

    Guinet, Françoise; Avé, Patrick; Filali, Sofia; Huon, Christèle; Savin, Cyril; Huerre, Michel; Fiette, Laurence; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2015-10-01

    Activation and/or recruitment of the host plasmin, a fibrinolytic enzyme also active on extracellular matrix components, is a common invasive strategy of bacterial pathogens. Yersinia pestis, the bubonic plague agent, expresses the multifunctional surface protease Pla, which activates plasmin and inactivates fibrinolysis inhibitors. Pla is encoded by the pPla plasmid. Following intradermal inoculation, Y. pestis has the capacity to multiply in and cause destruction of the lymph node (LN) draining the entry site. The closely related, pPla-negative, Y. pseudotuberculosis species lacks this capacity. We hypothesized that tissue damage and bacterial multiplication occurring in the LN during bubonic plague were linked and both driven by pPla. Using a set of pPla-positive and pPla-negative Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains in a mouse model of intradermal injection, we found that pPla is not required for bacterial translocation to the LN. We also observed that a pPla-cured Y. pestis caused the same extensive histological lesions as the wild type strain. Furthermore, the Y. pseudotuberculosis histological pattern, characterized by infectious foci limited by inflammatory cell infiltrates with normal tissue density and follicular organization, was unchanged after introduction of pPla. However, the presence of pPla enabled Y. pseudotuberculosis to increase its bacterial load up to that of Y. pestis. Similarly, lack of pPla strongly reduced Y. pestis titers in LNs of infected mice. This pPla-mediated enhancing effect on bacterial load was directly dependent on the proteolytic activity of Pla. Immunohistochemistry of Pla-negative Y. pestis-infected LNs revealed extensive bacterial lysis, unlike the numerous, apparently intact, microorganisms seen in wild type Y. pestis-infected preparations. Therefore, our study demonstrates that tissue destruction and bacterial survival/multiplication are dissociated in the bubo and that the primary action of Pla is to protect

  15. Dissociation of Tissue Destruction and Bacterial Expansion during Bubonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Guinet, Françoise; Avé, Patrick; Filali, Sofia; Huon, Christèle; Savin, Cyril; Huerre, Michel; Fiette, Laurence; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2015-01-01

    Activation and/or recruitment of the host plasmin, a fibrinolytic enzyme also active on extracellular matrix components, is a common invasive strategy of bacterial pathogens. Yersinia pestis, the bubonic plague agent, expresses the multifunctional surface protease Pla, which activates plasmin and inactivates fibrinolysis inhibitors. Pla is encoded by the pPla plasmid. Following intradermal inoculation, Y. pestis has the capacity to multiply in and cause destruction of the lymph node (LN) draining the entry site. The closely related, pPla-negative, Y. pseudotuberculosis species lacks this capacity. We hypothesized that tissue damage and bacterial multiplication occurring in the LN during bubonic plague were linked and both driven by pPla. Using a set of pPla-positive and pPla-negative Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains in a mouse model of intradermal injection, we found that pPla is not required for bacterial translocation to the LN. We also observed that a pPla-cured Y. pestis caused the same extensive histological lesions as the wild type strain. Furthermore, the Y. pseudotuberculosis histological pattern, characterized by infectious foci limited by inflammatory cell infiltrates with normal tissue density and follicular organization, was unchanged after introduction of pPla. However, the presence of pPla enabled Y. pseudotuberculosis to increase its bacterial load up to that of Y. pestis. Similarly, lack of pPla strongly reduced Y. pestis titers in LNs of infected mice. This pPla-mediated enhancing effect on bacterial load was directly dependent on the proteolytic activity of Pla. Immunohistochemistry of Pla-negative Y. pestis-infected LNs revealed extensive bacterial lysis, unlike the numerous, apparently intact, microorganisms seen in wild type Y. pestis-infected preparations. Therefore, our study demonstrates that tissue destruction and bacterial survival/multiplication are dissociated in the bubo and that the primary action of Pla is to protect

  16. Dissociation of Tissue Destruction and Bacterial Expansion during Bubonic Plague.

    PubMed

    Guinet, Françoise; Avé, Patrick; Filali, Sofia; Huon, Christèle; Savin, Cyril; Huerre, Michel; Fiette, Laurence; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2015-10-01

    Activation and/or recruitment of the host plasmin, a fibrinolytic enzyme also active on extracellular matrix components, is a common invasive strategy of bacterial pathogens. Yersinia pestis, the bubonic plague agent, expresses the multifunctional surface protease Pla, which activates plasmin and inactivates fibrinolysis inhibitors. Pla is encoded by the pPla plasmid. Following intradermal inoculation, Y. pestis has the capacity to multiply in and cause destruction of the lymph node (LN) draining the entry site. The closely related, pPla-negative, Y. pseudotuberculosis species lacks this capacity. We hypothesized that tissue damage and bacterial multiplication occurring in the LN during bubonic plague were linked and both driven by pPla. Using a set of pPla-positive and pPla-negative Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains in a mouse model of intradermal injection, we found that pPla is not required for bacterial translocation to the LN. We also observed that a pPla-cured Y. pestis caused the same extensive histological lesions as the wild type strain. Furthermore, the Y. pseudotuberculosis histological pattern, characterized by infectious foci limited by inflammatory cell infiltrates with normal tissue density and follicular organization, was unchanged after introduction of pPla. However, the presence of pPla enabled Y. pseudotuberculosis to increase its bacterial load up to that of Y. pestis. Similarly, lack of pPla strongly reduced Y. pestis titers in LNs of infected mice. This pPla-mediated enhancing effect on bacterial load was directly dependent on the proteolytic activity of Pla. Immunohistochemistry of Pla-negative Y. pestis-infected LNs revealed extensive bacterial lysis, unlike the numerous, apparently intact, microorganisms seen in wild type Y. pestis-infected preparations. Therefore, our study demonstrates that tissue destruction and bacterial survival/multiplication are dissociated in the bubo and that the primary action of Pla is to protect

  17. Kinetics of disease progression and host response in a rat model of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Sebbane, Florent; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Gowen, Brian B; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2005-05-01

    Plague, caused by the gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, primarily affects rodents but is also an important zoonotic disease of humans. Bubonic plague in humans follows transmission by infected fleas and is characterized by an acute, necrotizing lymphadenitis in the regional lymph nodes that drain the intradermal flea bite site. Septicemia rapidly follows with spread to spleen, liver, and other organs. We developed a model of bubonic plague using the inbred Brown Norway strain of Rattus norvegicus to characterize the progression and kinetics of infection and the host immune response after intradermal inoculation of Y. pestis. The clinical signs and pathology in the rat closely resembled descriptions of human bubonic plague. The bacteriology; histopathology; host cellular response in infected lymph nodes, blood, and spleen; and serum cytokine levels were analyzed at various times after infection to determine the kinetics and route of disease progression and to evaluate hypothesized Y. pestis pathogenic mechanisms. Understanding disease progression in this rat infection model should facilitate further investigations into the molecular pathogenesis of bubonic plague and the immune response to Y. pestis at different stages of the disease.

  18. Prevention of bubonic and pneumonic plague using plant-derived vaccines.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, M Lucrecia; Cardineau, Guy A

    2010-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague, is an extremely virulent bacterium but there are currently no approved vaccines for protection against this organism. Plants represent an economical and safer alternative to fermentation-based expression systems for the production of therapeutic proteins. The recombinant plague vaccine candidates produced in plants are based on the two most immunogenic antigens of Y. pestis: the fraction-1 capsular antigen (F1) and the low calcium response virulent antigen (V) either in combination or as a fusion protein (F1-V). These antigens have been expressed in plants using all three known possible strategies: nuclear transformation, chloroplast transformation and plant-virus-based expression vectors. These plant-derived plague vaccine candidates were successfully tested in animal models using parenteral, oral, or prime/boost immunization regimens. This review focuses on the recent research accomplishments towards the development of safe and effective pneumonic and bubonic plague vaccines using plants as bioreactors.

  19. Epidemiologic features of four successive annual outbreaks of bubonic plague in Mahajanga, Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Boisier, Pascal; Rahalison, Lila; Rasolomaharo, Monique; Ratsitorahina, Maherisoa; Mahafaly, Mahafaly; Razafimahefa, Maminirana; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Ratsifasoamanana, Lala; Chanteau, Suzanne

    2002-03-01

    From 1995 to 1998, outbreaks of bubonic plague occurred annually in the coastal city of Mahajanga, Madagascar. A total of 1,702 clinically suspected cases of bubonic plague were reported, including 515 laboratory confirmed by Yersinia pestis isolation (297), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, or both. Incidence was higher in males and young persons. Most buboes were inguinal, but children had a higher frequency of cervical or axillary buboes. Among laboratory-confirmed hospitalized patients, the case-fatality rate was 7.9%, although all Y. pestis isolates were sensitive to streptomycin, the recommended antibiotic. In this tropical city, plague outbreaks occur during the dry and cool season. Most cases are concentrated in the same crowded and unsanitary districts, a result of close contact among humans, rats, and shrews. Plague remains an important public health problem in Madagascar, and the potential is substantial for spread to other coastal cities and abroad.

  20. Complete Protection against Pneumonic and Bubonic Plague after a Single Oral Vaccination

    PubMed Central

    Derbise, Anne; Hanada, Yuri; Khalifé, Manal; Carniel, Elisabeth; Demeure, Christian E.

    2015-01-01

    Background No efficient vaccine against plague is currently available. We previously showed that a genetically attenuated Yersinia pseudotuberculosis producing the Yersinia pestis F1 antigen was an efficient live oral vaccine against pneumonic plague. This candidate vaccine however failed to confer full protection against bubonic plague and did not produce F1 stably. Methodology/Principal Findings The caf operon encoding F1 was inserted into the chromosome of a genetically attenuated Y. pseudotuberculosis, yielding the VTnF1 strain, which stably produced the F1 capsule. Given orally to mice, VTnF1 persisted two weeks in the mouse gut and induced a high humoral response targeting both F1 and other Y. pestis antigens. The strong cellular response elicited was directed mostly against targets other than F1, but also against F1. It involved cells with a Th1—Th17 effector profile, producing IFNγ, IL-17, and IL-10. A single oral dose (108 CFU) of VTnF1 conferred 100% protection against pneumonic plague using a high-dose challenge (3,300 LD50) caused by the fully virulent Y. pestis CO92. Moreover, vaccination protected 100% of mice from bubonic plague caused by a challenge with 100 LD50 Y. pestis and 93% against a high-dose infection (10,000 LD50). Protection involved fast-acting mechanisms controlling Y. pestis spread out of the injection site, and the protection provided was long-lasting, with 93% and 50% of mice surviving bubonic and pneumonic plague respectively, six months after vaccination. Vaccinated mice also survived bubonic and pneumonic plague caused by a high-dose of non-encapsulated (F1-) Y. pestis. Significance VTnF1 is an easy-to-produce, genetically stable plague vaccine candidate, providing a highly efficient and long-lasting protection against both bubonic and pneumonic plague caused by wild type or un-encapsulated (F1-negative) Y. pestis. To our knowledge, VTnF1 is the only plague vaccine ever reported that could provide high and durable protection

  1. Transcriptomic and innate immune responses to Yersinia pestis in the lymph node during bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Comer, Jason E; Sturdevant, Daniel E; Carmody, Aaron B; Virtaneva, Kimmo; Gardner, Donald; Long, Dan; Rosenke, Rebecca; Porcella, Stephen F; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2010-12-01

    A delayed inflammatory response is a prominent feature of infection with Yersinia pestis, the agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Using a rat model of bubonic plague, we examined lymph node histopathology, transcriptome, and extracellular cytokine levels to broadly characterize the kinetics and extent of the host response to Y. pestis and how it is influenced by the Yersinia virulence plasmid (pYV). Remarkably, dissemination and multiplication of wild-type Y. pestis during the bubonic stage of disease did not induce any detectable gene expression or cytokine response by host lymph node cells in the developing bubo. Only after systemic spread had led to terminal septicemic plague was a transcriptomic response detected, which included upregulation of several cytokine, chemokine, and other immune response genes. Although an initial intracellular phase of Y. pestis infection has been postulated, a Th1-type cytokine response associated with classical activation of macrophages was not observed during the bubonic stage of disease. However, elevated levels of interleukin-17 (IL-17) were present in infected lymph nodes. In the absence of pYV, sustained recruitment to the lymph node of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN, or neutrophils), the major IL-17 effector cells, correlated with clearance of infection. Thus, the ability to counteract a PMN response in the lymph node appears to be a major in vivo function of the Y. pestis virulence plasmid.

  2. Travel history key to picking up on signs of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    2015-11-01

    Health officials note an uptick in cases of bubonic plague in the United States this year, with at least 12 reported human cases reported since April 1. The CDC notes that healthcare providers should consider plague in patients who have traveled to plague-endemic areas and exhibit fever, headache, chills, weakness, and one or more swollen or tender and painful lymph nodes, referred to as buboes. Officials note that the disease rarely passes from person to person, but that this is a concern with patients who have developed the pneumonic form of the disease. Health officials note that in recent years there has been an average of seven cases of human plague each year in the United States, and that most of these cases are the bubonic form of the illness. Four patients confirmed to have plague this year have died, including the most recent case, a Utah man in his 70s. Most cases of plague in the United States occur in two regions. The first includes northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, and southern Colorado, and the second includes California, southern Oregon, and far western Nevada. When plague is suspected, treatment with antibiotics should begin immediately. PMID:26550675

  3. Travel history key to picking up on signs of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    2015-11-01

    Health officials note an uptick in cases of bubonic plague in the United States this year, with at least 12 reported human cases reported since April 1. The CDC notes that healthcare providers should consider plague in patients who have traveled to plague-endemic areas and exhibit fever, headache, chills, weakness, and one or more swollen or tender and painful lymph nodes, referred to as buboes. Officials note that the disease rarely passes from person to person, but that this is a concern with patients who have developed the pneumonic form of the disease. Health officials note that in recent years there has been an average of seven cases of human plague each year in the United States, and that most of these cases are the bubonic form of the illness. Four patients confirmed to have plague this year have died, including the most recent case, a Utah man in his 70s. Most cases of plague in the United States occur in two regions. The first includes northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, and southern Colorado, and the second includes California, southern Oregon, and far western Nevada. When plague is suspected, treatment with antibiotics should begin immediately.

  4. New insights into how Yersinia pestis adapts to its mammalian host during bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Lemaître, Nadine; Merchez, Maud; Ricard, Isabelle; Reboul, Angéline; Dewitte, Amélie; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-03-01

    Bubonic plague (a fatal, flea-transmitted disease) remains an international public health concern. Although our understanding of the pathogenesis of bubonic plague has improved significantly over the last few decades, researchers have still not been able to define the complete set of Y. pestis genes needed for disease or to characterize the mechanisms that enable infection. Here, we generated a library of Y. pestis mutants, each lacking one or more of the genes previously identified as being up-regulated in vivo. We then screened the library for attenuated virulence in rodent models of bubonic plague. Importantly, we tested mutants both individually and using a novel, "per-pool" screening method that we have developed. Our data showed that in addition to genes involved in physiological adaptation and resistance to the stress generated by the host, several previously uncharacterized genes are required for virulence. One of these genes (ympt1.66c, which encodes a putative helicase) has been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Deletion of ympt1.66c reduced Y. pestis' ability to spread to the lymph nodes draining the dermal inoculation site--probably because loss of this gene decreased the bacteria's ability to survive inside macrophages. Our results suggest that (i) intracellular survival during the early stage of infection is important for plague and (ii) horizontal gene transfer was crucial in the acquisition of this ability.

  5. New Insights into How Yersinia pestis Adapts to Its Mammalian Host during Bubonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Lemaître, Nadine; Merchez, Maud; Ricard, Isabelle; Reboul, Angéline; Dewitte, Amélie; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-01-01

    Bubonic plague (a fatal, flea-transmitted disease) remains an international public health concern. Although our understanding of the pathogenesis of bubonic plague has improved significantly over the last few decades, researchers have still not been able to define the complete set of Y. pestis genes needed for disease or to characterize the mechanisms that enable infection. Here, we generated a library of Y. pestis mutants, each lacking one or more of the genes previously identified as being up-regulated in vivo. We then screened the library for attenuated virulence in rodent models of bubonic plague. Importantly, we tested mutants both individually and using a novel, “per-pool” screening method that we have developed. Our data showed that in addition to genes involved in physiological adaption and resistance to the stress generated by the host, several previously uncharacterized genes are required for virulence. One of these genes (ympt1.66c, which encodes a putative helicase) has been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. Deletion of ympt1.66c reduced Y. pestis' ability to spread to the lymph nodes draining the dermal inoculation site – probably because loss of this gene decreased the bacteria's ability to survive inside macrophages. Our results suggest that (i) intracellular survival during the early stage of infection is important for plague and (ii) horizontal gene transfer was crucial in the acquisition of this ability. PMID:24675805

  6. Plague

    MedlinePlus

    ... Bubonic plague causes the tonsils, adenoids, spleen, and thymus to become inflamed. Symptoms include fever, aches, chills, and tender lymph glands. In septicemic plague, bacteria multiply in the blood. ...

  7. The yersiniabactin transport system is critical for the pathogenesis of bubonic and pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Fetherston, Jacqueline D; Kirillina, Olga; Bobrov, Alexander G; Paulley, James T; Perry, Robert D

    2010-05-01

    Iron acquisition from the host is an important step in the pathogenic process. While Yersinia pestis has multiple iron transporters, the yersiniabactin (Ybt) siderophore-dependent system plays a major role in iron acquisition in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we determined that the Ybt system is required for the use of iron bound by transferrin and lactoferrin and examined the importance of the Ybt system for virulence in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Y. pestis mutants unable to either transport Ybt or synthesize the siderophore were both essentially avirulent via subcutaneous injection (bubonic plague model). Surprisingly, via intranasal instillation (pneumonic plague model), we saw a difference in the virulence of Ybt biosynthetic and transport mutants. Ybt biosynthetic mutants displayed an approximately 24-fold-higher 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) than transport mutants. In contrast, under iron-restricted conditions in vitro, a Ybt transport mutant had a more severe growth defect than the Ybt biosynthetic mutant. Finally, a Delta pgm mutant had a greater loss of virulence than the Ybt biosynthetic mutant, indicating that the 102-kb pgm locus encodes a virulence factor, in addition to Ybt, that plays a role in the pathogenesis of pneumonic plague.

  8. Immunogenicity and protective immunity against bubonic plague and pneumonic plague by immunization of mice with the recombinant V10 antigen, a variant of LcrV.

    PubMed

    DeBord, Kristin L; Anderson, Deborah M; Marketon, Melanie M; Overheim, Katie A; DePaolo, R William; Ciletti, Nancy A; Jabri, Bana; Schneewind, Olaf

    2006-08-01

    In contrast to Yersinia pestis LcrV, the recombinant V10 (rV10) variant (lacking residues 271 to 300) does not suppress the release of proinflammatory cytokines by immune cells. Immunization with rV10 generates robust antibody responses that protect mice against bubonic plague and pneumonic plague, suggesting that rV10 may serve as an improved plague vaccine.

  9. Bubonic Plague

    MedlinePlus

    ... certain type of flea, commonly known as a rat flea, which infects humans and animals. Humans can ... to humans from the bite of an infected rat flea, which almost always infests rats, though other ...

  10. Yersinia pestis Endowed with Increased Cytotoxicity Is Avirulent in a Bubonic Plague Model and Induces Rapid Protection against Pneumonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Zauberman, Ayelet; Tidhar, Avital; Levy, Yinon; Bar-Haim, Erez; Halperin, Gideon; Flashner, Yehuda; Cohen, Sara; Shafferman, Avigdor; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2009-01-01

    An important virulence strategy evolved by bacterial pathogens to overcome host defenses is the modulation of host cell death. Previous observations have indicated that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague disease, exhibits restricted capacity to induce cell death in macrophages due to ineffective translocation of the type III secretion effector YopJ, as opposed to the readily translocated YopP, the YopJ homologue of the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica O∶8. This led us to suggest that reduced cytotoxic potency may allow pathogen propagation within a shielded niche, leading to increased virulence. To test the relationship between cytotoxic potential and virulence, we replaced Y. pestis YopJ with YopP. The YopP-expressing Y. pestis strain exhibited high cytotoxic activity against macrophages in vitro. Following subcutaneous infection, this strain had reduced ability to colonize internal organs, was unable to induce septicemia and exhibited at least a 107-fold reduction in virulence. Yet, upon intravenous or intranasal infection, it was still as virulent as the wild-type strain. The subcutaneous administration of the cytotoxic Y. pestis strain appears to activate a rapid and potent systemic, CTL-independent, immunoprotective response, allowing the organism to overcome simultaneous coinfection with 10,000 LD50 of virulent Y. pestis. Moreover, three days after subcutaneous administration of this strain, animals were also protected against septicemic or primary pneumonic plague. Our findings indicate that an inverse relationship exists between the cytotoxic potential of Y. pestis and its virulence following subcutaneous infection. This appears to be associated with the ability of the engineered cytotoxic Y. pestis strain to induce very rapid, effective and long-lasting protection against bubonic and pneumonic plague. These observations have novel implications for the development of vaccines/therapies against Y. pestis and shed new light on the

  11. Human anti-plague monoclonal antibodies protect mice from Yersinia pestis in a bubonic plague model.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Xiaodong; Zhu, Zhongyu; Dankmeyer, Jennifer L; Wormald, Michael M; Fast, Randy L; Worsham, Patricia L; Cote, Christopher K; Amemiya, Kei; Dimitrov, Dimiter S

    2010-10-13

    Yersinia pestis is the etiologic agent of plague that has killed more than 200 million people throughout the recorded history of mankind. Antibiotics may provide little immediate relief to patients who have a high bacteremia or to patients infected with an antibiotic resistant strain of plague. Two virulent factors of Y. pestis are the capsid F1 protein and the low-calcium response (Lcr) V-protein or V-antigen that have been proven to be the targets for both active and passive immunization. There are mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the F1- and V-antigens that can passively protect mice in a murine model of plague; however, there are no anti-Yersinia pestis monoclonal antibodies available for prophylactic or therapeutic treatment in humans. We identified one anti-F1-specific human mAb (m252) and two anti-V-specific human mAb (m253, m254) by panning a naïve phage-displayed Fab library against the F1- and V-antigens. The Fabs were converted to IgG1s and their binding and protective activities were evaluated. M252 bound weakly to peptides located at the F1 N-terminus where a protective mouse anti-F1 mAb also binds. M253 bound strongly to a V-antigen peptide indicating a linear epitope; m254 did not bind to any peptide from a panel of 53 peptides suggesting that its epitope may be conformational. M252 showed better protection than m253 and m254 against a Y, pestis challenge in a plague mouse model. A synergistic effect was observed when the three antibodies were combined. Incomplete to complete protection was achieved when m252 was given at different times post-challenge. These antibodies can be further studied to determine their potential as therapeutics or prophylactics in Y. pestis infection in humans.

  12. Role of the Yersinia pestis Ail protein in preventing a protective polymorphonuclear leukocyte response during bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Jarrett, Clayton O; Callison, Julie A; Gardner, Donald; Buchanan, Susan K; Plano, Gregory V

    2011-12-01

    The ability of Yersinia pestis to forestall the mammalian innate immune response is a fundamental aspect of plague pathogenesis. In this study, we examined the effect of Ail, a 17-kDa outer membrane protein that protects Y. pestis against complement-mediated lysis, on bubonic plague pathogenesis in mice and rats. The Y. pestis ail mutant was attenuated for virulence in both rodent models. The attenuation was greater in rats than in mice, which correlates with the ability of normal rat serum, but not mouse serum, to kill ail-negative Y. pestis in vitro. Intradermal infection with the ail mutant resulted in an atypical, subacute form of bubonic plague associated with extensive recruitment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN or neutrophils) to the site of infection in the draining lymph node and the formation of large purulent abscesses that contained the bacteria. Systemic spread and mortality were greatly attenuated, however, and a productive adaptive immune response was generated after high-dose challenge, as evidenced by high serum antibody levels against Y. pestis F1 antigen. The Y. pestis Ail protein is an important bubonic plague virulence factor that inhibits the innate immune response, in particular the recruitment of a protective PMN response to the infected lymph node.

  13. A Yersinia pestis YscN ATPase mutant functions as a live attenuated vaccine against bubonic plague in mice.

    PubMed

    Bozue, Joel; Cote, Christopher K; Webster, Wendy; Bassett, Anthony; Tobery, Steven; Little, Stephen; Swietnicki, Wieslaw

    2012-07-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent responsible for bubonic and pneumonic plague. The bacterium uses the pLcr plasmid-encoded type III secretion system to deliver virulence factors into host cells. Delivery requires ATP hydrolysis by the YscN ATPase encoded by the yscN gene also on pLcr. A yscN mutant was constructed in the fully virulent CO92 strain containing a nonpolar, in-frame internal deletion within the gene. We demonstrate that CO92 with a yscN mutation was not able to secrete the LcrV protein (V-Antigen) and attenuated in a subcutaneous model of plague demonstrating that the YscN ATPase was essential for virulence. However, if the yscN mutant was complemented with a functional yscN gene in trans, virulence was restored. To evaluate the mutant as a live vaccine, Swiss-Webster mice were vaccinated twice with the ΔyscN mutant at varying doses and were protected against bubonic plague in a dose-dependent manner. Antibodies to F1 capsule but not to LcrV were detected in sera from the vaccinated mice. These preliminary results suggest a proof-of-concept for an attenuated, genetically engineered, live vaccine effective against bubonic plague.

  14. Role of the Yersinia pestis plasminogen activator in the incidence of distinct septicemic and bubonic forms of flea-borne plague.

    PubMed

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton O; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2006-04-01

    Yersinia pestis is transmitted by fleas and causes bubonic plague, characterized by severe local lymphadenitis that progresses rapidly to systemic infection and life-threatening septicemia. Here, we show that although flea-borne transmission usually leads to bubonic plague in mice, it can also lead to primary septicemic plague. However, intradermal injection of Y. pestis, commonly used to mimic transmission by fleabite, leads only to bubonic plague. A Y. pestis strain lacking the plasmid-encoded cell-surface plasminogen activator, which is avirulent by intradermal or s.c. injection, was able to cause fatal primary septicemic plague at low incidence, but not bubonic plague, when transmitted by fleas. The results clarify a long-standing uncertainty about the etiology of primary septicemic plague and support an evolutionary scenario in which plague first emerged as a flea-borne septicemic disease of limited transmissibility. Subsequent acquisition of the plasminogen activator gene by horizontal transfer enabled the bubonic form of disease and increased the potential for epidemic spread.

  15. Efficacy of ciprofloxacin-gentamicin combination therapy in murine bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Lemaître, Nadine; Ricard, Isabelle; Pradel, Elizabeth; Foligné, Benoît; Courcol, René; Simonet, Michel; Sebbane, Florent

    2012-01-01

    Potential benefits of combination antibiotic therapy for the treatment of plague have never been evaluated. We compared the efficacy of a ciprofloxacin (CIN) and gentamicin (GEN) combination therapy with that of each antibiotic administered alone (i) against Yersinia pestis in vitro and (ii) in a mouse model of bubonic plague in which animals were intravenously injected with antibiotics for five days, starting at two different times after infection (44 h and 56 h). In vitro, the CIN+GEN combination was synergistic at 0.5x the individual drugs' MICs and indifferent at 1x- or 2x MIC. In vivo, the survival rate for mice treated with CIN+GEN was similar to that observed with CIN alone and slightly higher than that observed for GEN alone 100, 100 and 85%, respectively when treatment was started 44 h post challenge. 100% of survivors were recorded in the CIN+GEN group vs 86 and 83% in the CIN and GEN groups, respectively when treatment was delayed to 56 h post-challenge. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Five days after the end of treatment, Y. pestis were observed in lymph nodes draining the inoculation site (but not in the spleen) in surviving mice in each of the three groups. The median lymph node log(10) CFU recovered from persistently infected lymph nodes was significantly higher with GEN than with CIN (5.8 vs. 3.2, p = 0.04) or CIN+GEN (5.8 vs. 2.8, p = 0.01). Taken as the whole, our data show that CIN+GEN combination is as effective as CIN alone but, regimens containing CIN are more effective to eradicate Y. pestis from the draining lymph node than the recommended GEN monotherapy. Moreover, draining lymph nodes may serve as a reservoir for the continued release of Y. pestis into the blood - even after five days of intravenous antibiotic treatment.

  16. Recombinant V antigen protects mice against pneumonic and bubonic plague caused by F1-capsule-positive and -negative strains of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Anderson, G W; Leary, S E; Williamson, E D; Titball, R W; Welkos, S L; Worsham, P L; Friedlander, A M

    1996-11-01

    The purified recombinant V antigen from Yersinia pestis, expressed in Escherichia coli and adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide, an adjuvant approved for human use, was used to immunize outbred Hsd:ND4 mice subcutaneously. Immunization protected mice from lethal bubonic and pneumonic plague caused by CO92, a wild-type F1+ strain, or by the isogenic F1- strain C12. This work demonstrates that a subunit plague vaccine formulated for human use provides significant protection against bubonic plague caused by an F1- strain (C12) or against substantial aerosol challenges from either F1+ (CO92) or F1-(C12) Y. pestis.

  17. The Yfe and Feo transporters are involved in microaerobic growth and virulence of Yersinia pestis in bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Fetherston, Jacqueline D; Mier, Ildefonso; Truszczynska, Helena; Perry, Robert D

    2012-11-01

    The Yfe/Sit and Feo transport systems are important for the growth of a variety of bacteria. In Yersinia pestis, single mutations in either yfe or feo result in reduced growth under static (limited aeration), iron-chelated conditions, while a yfe feo double mutant has a more severe growth defect. These growth defects were not observed when bacteria were grown under aerobic conditions or in strains capable of producing the siderophore yersiniabactin (Ybt) and the putative ferrous transporter FetMP. Both fetP and a downstream locus (flp for fet linked phenotype) were required for growth of a yfe feo ybt mutant under static, iron-limiting conditions. An feoB mutation alone had no effect on the virulence of Y. pestis in either bubonic or pneumonic plague models. An feo yfe double mutant was still fully virulent in a pneumonic plague model but had an ∼90-fold increase in the 50% lethal dose (LD(50)) relative to the Yfe(+) Feo(+) parent strain in a bubonic plague model. Thus, Yfe and Feo, in addition to Ybt, play an important role in the progression of bubonic plague. Finally, we examined the factors affecting the expression of the feo operon in Y. pestis. Under static growth conditions, the Y. pestis feo::lacZ fusion was repressed by iron in a Fur-dependent manner but not in cells grown aerobically. Mutations in feoC, fnr, arcA, oxyR, or rstAB had no significant effect on transcription of the Y. pestis feo promoter. Thus, the factor(s) that prevents repression by Fur under aerobic growth conditions remains to be identified.

  18. Effect of the bubonic plague epidemic on inbreeding in 14th century Britain.

    PubMed

    Pattison, John E

    2003-01-01

    The purpose of the study reported here was to further investigate a new method of estimating inbreeding in large, relatively isolated populations over historic times, as reported by Pattison (1999, 2001). The method is based on modeling the genealogical "paradox" and produces values of Pearl's coefficients of inbreeding as a function of time for any given population curve. In particular, this study demonstrates that the new method of estimating inbreeding may be used to examine the effect of unusual features in population curves on levels of inbreeding in that population. As an example, the medieval population "bump" that spans the 13th and 14th centuries in the population of Britain, which terminated abruptly with the outbreak of bubonic plague in 1348 AD, is examined. It is first assumed that the whole population was the adult (breeding) population, corresponding to minimum inbreeding. For this case it is found that, for distant generations, about 90% of the whole population occurs in any present-day British pedigree. This value compares favorably with the values of 85% and 80% reported by Wachter (1980) and Derrida et al. (1999, 2000), respectively. The population bump causes the curves for Pearl's coefficient, for minimum inbreeding, to have a plateau of about 96% over the period from about 1220 AD to 1380 AD. The effect of introducing a single known estimate of inbreeding into the model is to produce a more realistic situation where the adult (breeding) population is considerably less than the whole population. It is found that the maximum number of different ancestors in any generation, in the average British pedigree, is about 22900 individuals and occurs about 1220 AD. More importantly, and possibly contrary to expectation, it is now found that the population bump had virtually no effect on the level of inbreeding. PMID:12552584

  19. Imaging of bubonic plague dynamics by in vivo tracking of bioluminescent Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Nham, Toan; Filali, Sofia; Danne, Camille; Derbise, Anne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2012-01-01

    Yersinia pestis dissemination in a host is usually studied by enumerating bacteria in the tissues of animals sacrificed at different times. This laborious methodology gives only snapshots of the infection, as the infectious process is not synchronized. In this work we used in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to follow Y. pestis dissemination during bubonic plague. We first demonstrated that Y. pestis CO92 transformed with pGEN-luxCDABE stably emitted bioluminescence in vitro and in vivo, while retaining full virulence. The light produced from live animals allowed to delineate the infected organs and correlated with bacterial loads, thus validating the BLI tool. We then showed that the first step of the infectious process is a bacterial multiplication at the injection site (linea alba), followed by a colonization of the draining inguinal lymph node(s), and subsequently of the ipsilateral axillary lymph node through a direct connection between the two nodes. A mild bacteremia and an effective filtering of the blood stream by the liver and spleen probably accounted for the early bacterial blood clearance and the simultaneous development of bacterial foci within these organs. The saturation of the filtering capacity of the spleen and liver subsequently led to terminal septicemia. Our results also indicate that secondary lymphoid tissues are the main targets of Y. pestis multiplication and that colonization of other organs occurs essentially at the terminal phase of the disease. Finally, our analysis reveals that the high variability in the kinetics of infection is attributable to the time the bacteria remain confined at the injection site. However, once Y. pestis has reached the draining lymph nodes, the disease progresses extremely rapidly, leading to the invasion of the entire body within two days and to death of the animals. This highlights the extraordinary capacity of Y. pestis to annihilate the host innate immune response.

  20. Detection of Yersinia pestis using real-time PCR in patients with suspected bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Riehm, Julia M; Rahalison, Lila; Scholz, Holger C; Thoma, Bryan; Pfeffer, Martin; Razanakoto, Léa Mamiharisoa; Al Dahouk, Sascha; Neubauer, Heinrich; Tomaso, Herbert

    2011-02-01

    Yersinia (Y.) pestis, the causative agent of plague, is endemic in natural foci of Asia, Africa, and America. Real-time PCR assays have been described as rapid diagnostic tools, but so far none has been validated for its clinical use. In a retrospective clinical study we evaluated three real-time PCR assays in two different assay formats, 5'-nuclease and hybridization probes assays. Lymph node aspirates from 149 patients from Madagascar with the clinical diagnosis of bubonic plague were investigated for the detection of Y. pestis DNA. Results of real-time PCR assays targeting the virulence plasmids pPCP1 (pla gene), and pMT1 (caf1, Ymt genes) were compared with an F1-antigen immunochromatographic test (ICT) and cultivation of the organism. Out of the 149 samples an infection with Y. pestis was confirmed by culture in 47 patients while ICT was positive in 88 including all culture proven cases. The best real-time PCR assay was the 5'-nuclease assay targeting pla which was positive in 120 cases. In conclusion, the 5'-nuclease assay targeting pla can be recommended as diagnostic tool for establishing a presumptive diagnosis when bubonic plague is clinically suspected.

  1. Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus strain 201, an avirulent strain to humans, provides protection against bubonic plague in rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qingwen; Wang, Qiong; Tian, Guang; Qi, Zhizhen; Zhang, Xuecan; Wu, Xiaohong; Qiu, Yefeng; Bi, Yujing; Yang, Xiaoyan; Xin, Youquan; He, Jian; Zhou, Jiyuan; Zeng, Lin; Yang, Ruifu; Wang, Xiaoyi

    2014-01-01

    Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus is considered to be a virulent to larger mammals, including guinea pigs, rabbits and humans. It may be used as live attenuated plague vaccine candidates in terms of its low virulence. However, the Microtus strain's protection against plague has yet to be demonstrated in larger mammals. In this study, we evaluated the protective efficacy of the Microtus strain 201 as a live attenuated plague vaccine candidate. Our results show that this strain is highly attenuated by subcutaneous route, elicits an F1-specific antibody titer similar to the EV and provides a protective efficacy similar to the EV against bubonic plague in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques. The Microtus strain 201 could induce elevated secretion of both Th1-associated cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF-α) and Th2-associated cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-6), as well as chemokines MCP-1 and IL-8. However, the protected animals developed skin ulcer at challenge site with different severity in most of the immunized and some of the EV-immunized monkeys. Generally, the Microtus strain 201 represented a good plague vaccine candidate based on its ability to generate strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses as well as its good protection against high dose of subcutaneous virulent Y. pestis challenge.

  2. The search for early markers of plague: evidence for accumulation of soluble Yersinia pestis LcrV in bubonic and pneumonic mouse models of disease.

    PubMed

    Flashner, Yehuda; Fisher, Morly; Tidhar, Avital; Mechaly, Adva; Gur, David; Halperin, Gideon; Zahavy, Eran; Mamroud, Emanuelle; Cohen, Sara

    2010-07-01

    Markers of the early stages of plague, a rapidly progressing deadly disease, are crucial for enabling the onset of an effective treatment. Here, we show that V-antigen protein (LcrV) is accumulated in the serum of Yersinia pestis-infected mice before bacterial colonization of the spleen and dissemination to blood, in a model of bubonic plague. LcrV accumulation is detected earlier than that of F1 capsular antigen, an established marker of disease. In a mouse model of pneumonic plague, LcrV can be determined in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid somewhat later than F1, but before dissemination of Y. pestis to the blood. Thus, determination of soluble LcrV is suggested as a potential useful tool for monitoring disease progression in both bubonic and pneumonic plague. Moreover, it may be of particular advantage in cases of infections with F1 nonproducing strains.

  3. T cells play an essential role in anti-F1 mediated rapid protection against bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Levy, Yinon; Flashner, Yehuda; Tidhar, Avital; Zauberman, Ayelet; Aftalion, Moshe; Lazar, Shirley; Gur, David; Shafferman, Avigdor; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2011-09-16

    Plague, which is initiated by Yersinia pestis infection, is a fatal disease that progresses rapidly and leads to high mortality rates if not treated. Antibiotics are an effective plague therapy, but antibiotic-resistant Y. pestis strains have been reported and therefore alternative countermeasures are needed. In the present study, we assessed the potential of an F1 plus LcrV-based vaccine to provide protection shortly pre- or post-exposure to a lethal Y. pestis infection. Mice vaccinated up to one day before or even several hours after subcutaneous challenge were effectively protected. Mice immunized one or three days pre-challenge were protected even though their anti-F1 and anti-LcrV titers were below detection levels at the day of challenge. Moreover, using B-cell deficient μMT mice, we found that rapidly induced protective immunity requires the integrity of the humoral immune system. Analysis of the individual contributions of vaccine components to protection revealed that rF1 is responsible for the observed rapid antibody-mediated immunity. Applying anti-F1 passive therapy in the mouse model of bubonic plague demonstrated that anti-F1 F(ab')(2) can delay mortality, but it cannot provide long-lasting protection, as do intact anti-F1 molecules. Fc-dependent immune components, such as the complement system and (to a lesser extent) neutrophils, were found to contribute to mouse survival. Interestingly, T cells but not B cells were found to be essential for the recovery of infected animals following passive anti-F1 mediated therapy. These data extend our understanding of the immune mechanisms required for the development of a rapid and effective post-exposure therapy against plague.

  4. Host resistance, population structure and the long-term persistence of bubonic plague: contributions of a modelling approach in the Malagasy focus.

    PubMed

    Gascuel, Fanny; Choisy, Marc; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Débarre, Florence; Brouat, Carine

    2013-01-01

    Although bubonic plague is an endemic zoonosis in many countries around the world, the factors responsible for the persistence of this highly virulent disease remain poorly known. Classically, the endemic persistence of plague is suspected to be due to the coexistence of plague resistant and plague susceptible rodents in natural foci, and/or to a metapopulation structure of reservoirs. Here, we test separately the effect of each of these factors on the long-term persistence of plague. We analyse the dynamics and equilibria of a model of plague propagation, consistent with plague ecology in Madagascar, a major focus where this disease is endemic since the 1920s in central highlands. By combining deterministic and stochastic analyses of this model, and including sensitivity analyses, we show that (i) endemicity is favoured by intermediate host population sizes, (ii) in large host populations, the presence of resistant rats is sufficient to explain long-term persistence of plague, and (iii) the metapopulation structure of susceptible host populations alone can also account for plague endemicity, thanks to both subdivision and the subsequent reduction in the size of subpopulations, and extinction-recolonization dynamics of the disease. In the light of these results, we suggest scenarios to explain the localized presence of plague in Madagascar.

  5. CpG oligodeoxynucleotides augment the murine immune response to the Yersinia pestis F1-V vaccine in bubonic and pneumonic models of plague.

    PubMed

    Amemiya, Kei; Meyers, Jennifer L; Rogers, Taralyn E; Fast, Randy L; Bassett, Anthony D; Worsham, Patricia L; Powell, Bradford S; Norris, Sarah L; Krieg, Arthur M; Adamovicz, Jeffrey J

    2009-04-01

    The current U.S. Department of Defense candidate plague vaccine is a fusion between two Yersinia pestis proteins: the F1 capsular protein, and the low calcium response (Lcr) V-protein. We hypothesized that an immunomodulator, such as CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN)s, could augment the immune response to the plague F1-V vaccine in a mouse model for plague. CpG ODNs significantly augmented the antibody response and efficacy of a single dose of the plague vaccine in murine bubonic and pneumonic models of plague. In the latter study, we also found an overall significant augmentation the immune response to the individual subunits of the plague vaccine by CpG ODN 2006. In a long-term, prime-boost study, CpG ODN induced a significant early augmentation of the IgG response to the vaccine. The presence of CpG ODN induced a significant increase in the IgG2a subclass response to the vaccine up to 5 months after the boost. Our studies showed that CpG ODNs significantly augmented the IgG antibody response to the plague vaccine, which increased the probability of survival in murine models of plague (P<0.0001).

  6. Deletion of Braun lipoprotein and plasminogen-activating protease-encoding genes attenuates Yersinia pestis in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    van Lier, Christina J; Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; Cao, Anthony; Tiner, Bethany L; Erova, Tatiana E; Cong, Yingzi; Kozlova, Elena V; Popov, Vsevolod L; Baze, Wallace B; Chopra, Ashok K

    2014-06-01

    Currently, there is no FDA-approved vaccine against Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic and pneumonic plague. Since both humoral immunity and cell-mediated immunity are essential in providing the host with protection against plague, we developed a live-attenuated vaccine strain by deleting the Braun lipoprotein (lpp) and plasminogen-activating protease (pla) genes from Y. pestis CO92. The Δlpp Δpla double isogenic mutant was highly attenuated in evoking both bubonic and pneumonic plague in a mouse model. Further, animals immunized with the mutant by either the intranasal or the subcutaneous route were significantly protected from developing subsequent pneumonic plague. In mice, the mutant poorly disseminated to peripheral organs and the production of proinflammatory cytokines concurrently decreased. Histopathologically, reduced damage to the lungs and livers of mice infected with the Δlpp Δpla double mutant compared to the level of damage in wild-type (WT) CO92-challenged animals was observed. The Δlpp Δpla mutant-immunized mice elicited a humoral immune response to the WT bacterium, as well as to CO92-specific antigens. Moreover, T cells from mutant-immunized animals exhibited significantly higher proliferative responses, when stimulated ex vivo with heat-killed WT CO92 antigens, than mice immunized with the same sublethal dose of WT CO92. Likewise, T cells from the mutant-immunized mice produced more gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4. These animals had an increasing number of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells than WT CO92-infected mice. These data emphasize the role of TNF-α and IFN-γ in protecting mice against pneumonic plague. Overall, our studies provide evidence that deletion of the lpp and pla genes acts synergistically in protecting animals against pneumonic plague, and we have demonstrated an immunological basis for this protection.

  7. Imaging early pathogenesis of bubonic plague: are neutrophils commandeered for lymphatic transport of bacteria?

    PubMed

    Bland, David M; Anderson, Deborah M

    2013-11-05

    Vector-borne infections begin in the dermis when a pathogen is introduced by an arthropod during a blood meal. Several barriers separate an invading pathogen from its replicative niche, including phagocytic cells in the dermis that activate immunity by engulfing would-be pathogens and migrating to the lymph node. In addition, neutrophils circulating in the blood are rapidly recruited when the dermal barriers are penetrated. For flea-borne disease, no insect-encoded immune-suppressive molecules have yet been described that might influence the establishment of infection, leaving the bacteria on their own to defend against the mammalian immune system. Shortly after a flea transmits Yersinia pestis to a mammalian host, the bacteria are transported to the lymph node, where they grow logarithmically and later spread systemically. Even a single cell of Y. pestis can initiate a lethal case of plague. In their article, J. G. Shannon et al. [mBio 4(5):e00170-13, 2013, doi:10.1128/mBio.00170-13] used intravital microscopy to visualize trafficking of Y. pestis in transgenic mice in vivo, which allowed them to examine interactions between bacteria and specific immune cells. Bacteria appeared to preferentially interact with neutrophils but had no detectable interactions with dendritic cells. These findings suggest that Y. pestis infection of neutrophils not only prevents their activation but may even result in their return to circulation and migration to distal sites.

  8. A live attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis ΔyscB provides protection against bubonic and pneumonic plagues in mouse model.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xuecan; Qi, Zhizhen; Du, Zongmin; Bi, Yujing; Zhang, Qingwen; Tan, Yafang; Yang, Huiying; Xin, Youquan; Yang, Ruifu; Wang, Xiaoyi

    2013-05-24

    To develop a safe and effective live plague vaccine, the ΔyscB mutant was constructed based on Yersinia pestis biovar Microtus strain 201 that is avirulent to humans, but virulent to mice. The virulence, immunogenicity and protective efficacy of the ΔyscB mutant were evaluated in this study. The results showed that the ΔyscB mutant was severely attenuated, elicited a higher F1-specific antibody titer and provided protective efficacy against bubonic and pneumonic plague in mouse model. The ΔyscB mutant could induce the secretion of both Th1-associated cytokines (IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF-α) and Th2-associated cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10). Taken together, the ΔyscB mutant represented a potential vaccine candidate based on its ability to generate strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses and to provide good protection against both subcutaneous and intranasal Y. pestis challenge.

  9. Yersinia pestis YopJ suppresses tumor necrosis factor alpha induction and contributes to apoptosis of immune cells in the lymph node but is not required for virulence in a rat model of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Lemaître, Nadine; Sebbane, Florent; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2006-09-01

    The virulence of the pathogenic Yersinia species depends on a plasmid-encoded type III secretion system that transfers six Yop effector proteins into host cells. One of these proteins, YopJ, has been shown to disrupt host cell signaling pathways involved in proinflammatory cytokine production and to induce macrophage apoptosis in vitro. YopJ-dependent apoptosis in mesenteric lymph nodes has also been demonstrated in a mouse model of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection. These results suggest that YopJ attenuates the host innate and adaptive immune response during infection, but the role of YopJ during bubonic plague has not been completely established. We evaluated the role of Yersinia pestis YopJ in a rat model of bubonic plague following intradermal infection with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain and an isogenic yopJ mutant. Deletion of yopJ resulted in a twofold decrease in the number of apoptotic immune cells in the bubo and a threefold increase in serum tumor necrosis factor alpha levels but did not result in decreased virulence, systemic spread, or colonization levels in the spleen and blood. Our results indicate that YopJ is not essential for bubonic plague pathogenesis, even after peripheral inoculation of low doses of Y. pestis. Instead, the effects of YopJ appear to overlap and augment the immunomodulatory effects of other Y. pestis virulence factors.

  10. Plague studies*

    PubMed Central

    Pollitzer, R.

    1953-01-01

    Epidemiological aspects of (a) bubonic plague and (b) primary pneumonic plague are discussed separately in this study. The cause, spread, and persistence of bubonic outbreaks are dealt with. In the case of primary pneumonic plague, the author systematically reviews the factors influencing the spread of the disease: climatic and social conditions, infectivity of the patients, immunity, and control measures. In discussing the cause of pneumonic plague outbreaks, the author deals with the possible influence of a special virulence of pneumonic strains, the role of the rodent and flea species involved, and the possibility of a pneumotropismus acquired by Pasteurella pestis. The periodicity (cyclical and secular) of bubonic plague epidemics is discussed with a view to the possible forecasting of future epidemics. The author indicates the influence of race, age, sex, and occupation on the incidence of both forms of the disease. PMID:13082391

  11. Validation of Inverse Seasonal Peak Mortality in Medieval Plagues, Including the Black Death, in Comparison to Modern Yersinia pestis-Variant Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Welford, Mark R.; Bossak, Brian H.

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent studies have noted myriad qualitative and quantitative inconsistencies between the medieval Black Death (and subsequent “plagues”) and modern empirical Y. pestis plague data, most of which is derived from the Indian and Chinese plague outbreaks of A.D. 1900±15 years. Previous works have noted apparent differences in seasonal mortality peaks during Black Death outbreaks versus peaks of bubonic and pneumonic plagues attributed to Y. pestis infection, but have not provided spatiotemporal statistical support. Our objective here was to validate individual observations of this seasonal discrepancy in peak mortality between historical epidemics and modern empirical data. Methodology/Principal Findings We compiled and aggregated multiple daily, weekly and monthly datasets of both Y. pestis plague epidemics and suspected Black Death epidemics to compare seasonal differences in mortality peaks at a monthly resolution. Statistical and time series analyses of the epidemic data indicate that a seasonal inversion in peak mortality does exist between known Y. pestis plague and suspected Black Death epidemics. We provide possible explanations for this seasonal inversion. Conclusions/Significance These results add further evidence of inconsistency between historical plagues, including the Black Death, and our current understanding of Y. pestis-variant disease. We expect that the line of inquiry into the disputed cause of the greatest recorded epidemic will continue to intensify. Given the rapid pace of environmental change in the modern world, it is crucial that we understand past lethal outbreaks as fully as possible in order to prepare for future deadly pandemics. PMID:20027294

  12. Protective efficacy of recombinant Yersinia outer proteins against bubonic plague caused by encapsulated and nonencapsulated Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Andrews, G P; Strachan, S T; Benner, G E; Sample, A K; Anderson, G W; Adamovicz, J J; Welkos, S L; Pullen, J K; Friedlander, A M

    1999-03-01

    To evaluate the role of Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) in conferring protective immunity against plague, six yop loci from Yersinia pestis were individually amplified by PCR, cloned, and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant proteins were purified and injected into mice. Most Yop-vaccinated animals succumbed to infection with either wild-type encapsulated Y. pestis or a virulent, nonencapsulated isogenic variant. Vaccination with YpkA significantly prolonged mean survival time but did not increase overall survival of mice infected with the nonencapsulated strain. The only significant protection against death was observed in YopD-vaccinated mice challenged with the nonencapsulated strain. PMID:10024607

  13. Characterization of an F1 deletion mutant of Yersinia pestis CO92, pathogenic role of F1 antigen in bubonic and pneumonic plague, and evaluation of sensitivity and specificity of F1 antigen capture-based dipsticks.

    PubMed

    Sha, Jian; Endsley, Janice J; Kirtley, Michelle L; Foltz, Sheri M; Huante, Matthew B; Erova, Tatiana E; Kozlova, Elena V; Popov, Vsevolod L; Yeager, Linsey A; Zudina, Irina V; Motin, Vladimir L; Peterson, Johnny W; DeBord, Kristin L; Chopra, Ashok K

    2011-05-01

    We evaluated two commercial F1 antigen capture-based immunochromatographic dipsticks, Yersinia Pestis (F1) Smart II and Plague BioThreat Alert test strips, in detecting plague bacilli by using whole-blood samples from mice experimentally infected with Yersinia pestis CO92. To assess the specificities of these dipsticks, an in-frame F1-deficient mutant of CO92 (Δcaf) was generated by homologous recombination and used as a negative control. Based on genetic, antigenic/immunologic, and electron microscopic analyses, the Δcaf mutant was devoid of a capsule. The growth rate of the Δcaf mutant generally was similar to that of the wild-type (WT) bacterium at both 26 and 37 °C, although the mutant's growth dropped slightly during the late phase at 37 °C. The Δcaf mutant was as virulent as WT CO92 in the pneumonic plague mouse model; however, it was attenuated in developing bubonic plague. Both dipsticks had similar sensitivities, requiring a minimum of 0.5 μg/ml of purified F1 antigen or 1 × 10(5) to 5 × 10(5) CFU/ml of WT CO92 for positive results, while the blood samples were negative for up to 1 × 10(8) CFU/ml of the Δcaf mutant. Our studies demonstrated the diagnostic potential of two plague dipsticks in detecting capsular-positive strains of Y. pestis in bubonic and pneumonic plague.

  14. Plague studies*

    PubMed Central

    Pollitzer, R.

    1953-01-01

    The author examines in detail the symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment of plague, and outlines the problem of the length of the incubation period. The clinical features commonly met with in all severely-affected plague patients, regardless of the primary localization of the infection, are described. The author then deals with the symptomatology and manifestations of bubonic plague as compared to those of primary pneumonic plague. The importance of a clinical diagnosis, from the point of view of prevention, is stressed, and the differential diagnosis of various forms of the disease is described. The study contains a detailed discussion of the respective merits of antibiotic treatment, serotherapy, and sulfonamide treatment. The author points out that the outstanding success of streptomycin and some other antibiotics will probably relegate the sulfonamides to the second rank in the treatment of bubonic plague. PMID:13082390

  15. A three-variable chaotic system for the epidemic of bubonic plague in Bombay by the end of the 19th century and its coupling to the epizootics of the two main species of rats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangiarotti, Sylvain

    2016-04-01

    A plague epidemic broke out in Bombay by the end of the 19th century. A committee was first appointed by the Bombay City [1] in order to stop the epidemic before the rain season started. Unfortunately, the disease could not be stopped and the epidemic became endemic. After several years, another Advisory Committee [2] was appointed that tried to investigate the causes of plague in all possible directions. An impressing quantity of information was gathered during the period 1907-1911 and published. In particular, it was noticed that the epidemic was systematically preceded by epizootics of rats. For this reason, the populations of the main species of rodents were systematically monitored. This data set is revisited here by using a multivariate version of the global modeling technique [3]. The aim of this technique is to obtain a set of Ordinary Differential Equations directly from time series. Three observational time series are considered: the number of person died of bubonic plague per half month (1), and the number of captured infected black rats Mus rattus (2) and brown rats Mus decumanus (3). Several models are obtained, all based on the same algebraic basic structure. These models are, either directly chaotic, or close to chaos (chaos could easily be obtained by tuning one model parameter). The algebraic structure of the simplest model obtained is analyzed in more details. Surprisingly, it is found that the interpretation of the coupling between the three variables can be done term by term. This interpretation is in quite good coherence with the conclusions of the Advisory Committee published one hundred years ago. This structure also shows that the human action to slow down the disease during this period was obviously effective, although insufficient to stop the epidemic drastically. This result suggests that the global modeling technique can be a powerful tool to detect causal couplings in epidemiology, and, more generally, among observational variables from

  16. Plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbott, Rachel C.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2012-01-01

    Plague offers readers an overview of this highly complex disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. The history of the disease, as well as information about Yersinia pestis and its transmission by fleas, is described. The section Geographic Distribution presents areas of the world and United States where plague occurs most commonly in rodents and humans. Species Susceptibility describes infection and disease rates in rodents, humans, and other animals. Disease Ecology considers the complex relationship among rodents, domestic and wild animals, and humans and explores possible routes of transmission and maintenance of the organism in the environment. The effects of climate change, the potential for Y. pestis to be used as a bioweapon, and the impact of plague on conservation of wildlife are considered in Points to Ponder. Disease Prevention and Control outlines methods of prevention and treatment including vaccination for prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets. A glossary of technical terms is included. Tonie E. Rocke, the senior author and an epizootiologist at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), is a prominent researcher on oral vaccination of prairie dogs to prevent plague. She is currently working to transfer her success in the laboratory to the field to control plague in prairie dogs. Rachel C. Abbott, a biologist at the NWHC, is assisting Dr. Rocke in this process and will coordinate field trials of the vaccine. Milt Friend, first director of the NWHC, wrote the foreword. Plague is intended for scholars and the general public. The material is presented in a simple, straightforward manner that serves both audiences. Numerous illustrations and tables provide easily understood summaries of key points and information.

  17. Plague studies*

    PubMed Central

    Pollitzer, R.

    1953-01-01

    In examining the control and prevention of plague, the author pays particular attention to the control of commensal rodents and their fleas. The various rat poisons in current use, their efficacy and practical application, and the dangers involved in their manipulation are described in great detail. The author also discusses other anti-rodent measures such as fumigation, rat-proofing, sanitation, protection of food, etc. The second part of the study deals with: vector control—the outstanding value of DDT application in rodent-flea control is emphasized—, the direct control of bubonic and pneumonic plague, and the control of the spread of plague at a distance. PMID:20603968

  18. Plague: from natural disease to bioterrorism

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague, an enzootic vectorborne disease usually infecting rodents (rats) and fleas. Humans can become infected after being bitten by fleas that have fed on infected rodents. In humans, the disease usually occurs in the form of bubonic plague. In rare cases, the infection spreads to the lungs via the bloodstream and causes secondary pneumonic plague. Person-to-person transmission has been described for pneumonic plague but is rare in primary bubonic plague. Bubonic plague can usually be treated successfully with antibiotics; however, pneumonic plague develops rapidly and carries a high fatality rate despite immediate treatment with antibiotics. Plague is also recognized as a potential agent of bioterrorism. It has been used, or considered for use, as a biologic weapon on several occasions. It is important for the medical community to be familiar with the epidemiology, diagnosis, and symptoms of plague so it can deliver an appropriate and calm response should the unthinkable happen. PMID:16200159

  19. Plague: Modern Preventive Measures in Ships and Ports

    PubMed Central

    White, C. F.

    1935-01-01

    Maritime quarantine, introduced in the fourteenth century in an endeavour to prevent the spread of plague. Though the system failed to achieve its object, and was expensive and restrictive to sea-borne commerce, it survived for over 500 years, presumably because, in the absence of knowledge of the ætiology of plague, no method of procedure more likely to be successful could be devised. This country acknowledged the failure of quarantine as a preventive measure in the middle of last century, and substituted the medical inspection of ships on arrival, though the last Quarantine Act was not repealed till 1896. Nevertheless it was not till the discovery of the rôle of the rat and the rat-flea in the spread of plague that it was possible to establish plague-preventive measures on a sound scientific basis. It is now recognized that a Port Health Authority must not only take steps to detect plague, human or rodent, afloat or ashore, at the earliest possible moment, but must eliminate conditions in ships and in shore premises which are conducive to the development of an epizoötic. Though here, and in other countries with an enlightened Public Health Administration, practice has long been ahead of legislation, the International Sanitary Convention of 1926 has now established throughout the world a large measure of uniformity in measures designed to prevent the spread of the more dangerous epidemic diseases by overseas trade, and the Port Sanitary Regulations 1933 have brought quarantine legislation in this country up to date. For the detection of plague every ship arriving from a plague-infected port is medically inspected on arrival, but even if there is no evidence of plague-infection on board, such ships are examined daily by a rat-officer until the discharge of cargo is complete. Dead rats found and live rats trapped are bacteriologically examined. If a rat is reported to be infected the vessel is fumigated at once. The discharge of cargo is then continued under

  20. Two medieval plague treatises and their afterlife in early modern England.

    PubMed

    Keiser, George R

    2003-07-01

    This study of an adaptation of the popular John of Burgundy plague treatise by Thomas Moulton, a Dominican friar, ca. 1475, and a translation of the so-called Canutus plague treatise by Thomas Paynell, printed 1534, shows how the medieval traditions they represent were carried forward, well into the sixteenth century, and also subjected to change in light of religious, moral, and medical concerns of early modern England. The former had a long life in print, ca. 1530-1580, whereas Paynell's translation exists in one printed version. Moulton's adaptation differs from its original and from the Canutus treatise in putting great emphasis on the idea that onsets of plague were acts of divine retribution for human sinfulness. In this respect, Moulton reshaped the tradition of the medieval plague treatise and anticipated the religious and social construction of plague that would take shape in the first half of the sixteenth century. Its long history in print indicates that Moulton's treatise expressed the spirit of that construction and probably influenced the construction as well. The contrasting histories of the two treatises attest not only to the dramatic change brought about by religious and social forces in the sixteenth century, but to a growing recognition of the value of the printing press for disseminating medical information-in forms that served social and ideological ends.

  1. Rodenticides in bubonic-plague control.

    PubMed

    LINK, V B; MOHR, C O

    1953-01-01

    The relatively recent development of more-effective pulicides has been paralleled by the discovery of more-efficient rodenticides. Eight of the latter-namely, warfarin, pival, red squill, alpha-naphthylthiourea (ANTU), zinc phosphide, arsenic trioxide, thallium sulfate, and sodium fluoroacetate (1080)-are discussed with particular reference to the criteria of effectiveness against rodents and relative safety to humans and pets. Although the perfect rodenticide has not yet been found, the authors consider that, at present, warfarin appears the most successful in domestic-rat control campaigns. However, the true value of warfarin has still to be determined, and in the meantime it is necessary to select the rodenticide and bait which appear to be most appropriate in each case. In addition, the authors point out that, if the initial poisoning has been ineffective, follow-up with a second rodenticide and bait can produce good results.

  2. [Review and reflection of the research of history of plague in modern China in recent 25 years].

    PubMed

    Shangguan, D Y

    2016-05-01

    Influenced by the research on history of disease abroad, the research on the history of plague in modern China began in 1989. For the recent 25 years, the related researches on plague mainly took place in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, the Northeast and Shanxi, supplemented by other places, showing its clear regional characteristic, with diversified research views, methods and application of materials. As an important content of research on disease history, the research of history of plague in modern China revealed obvious defects, viz. mainly traditional and one-way or linear research, reflecting the research was still at the borderland. Of late years, some scholars began to break through the limitation of traditional historical concept and method, and try to apply the interdisciplinary view for widening the research scope. With the promotion of this academic concept, the research of plague history began " to regard history by a bottom-up approach" , and paid more attention to the living space. PMID:27485872

  3. [Human plague and pneumonic plague : pathogenicity, epidemiology, clinical presentations and therapy].

    PubMed

    Riehm, Julia M; Löscher, Thomas

    2015-07-01

    Yersinia pestis is a highly pathogenic gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of human plague. In the last 1500 years and during three dreaded pandemics, millions of people became victims of Justinian's plague, the Black Death, or modern plague. Today, Y. pestis is endemic in natural foci of Asian, African and American countries. Due to its broad dissemination in mammal species and fleas, eradication of the pathogen will not be possible in the near future. In fact, plague is currently classified as a "re-emerging disease". Infection may occur after the bite of an infected flea, but also after oral ingestion or inhalation of the pathogen. The clinical presentations comprise the bubonic and pneumonic form, septicemia, rarely pharyngitis, and meningitis. Most human cases can successfully be treated with antibiotics. However, the high transmission rate and lethality of pneumonic plague require international and mandatory case notification and quarantine of patients. Rapid diagnosis, therapy and barrier nursing are not only crucial for the individual patient but also for the prevention of further spread of the pathogen or of epidemics. Therefore, WHO emergency schedules demand the isolation of cases, identification and surveillance of contacts as well as control of zoonotic reservoir animals and vectors. These sanctions and effective antibiotic treatment usually allow a rapid containment of outbreaks. However, multiple antibiotic resistant strains of Y. pestis have been isolated from patients in the past. So far, no outbreaks with such strains have been reported.

  4. A Toll/interleukin (IL)-1 receptor domain protein from Yersinia pestis interacts with mammalian IL-1/Toll-like receptor pathways but does not play a central role in the virulence of Y. pestis in a mouse model of bubonic plague.

    PubMed

    Spear, Abigail M; Rana, Rohini R; Jenner, Dominic C; Flick-Smith, Helen C; Oyston, Petra C F; Simpson, Peter; Matthews, Stephen J; Byrne, Bernadette; Atkins, Helen S

    2012-06-01

    The Toll/interleukin (IL)-1 receptor (TIR) domain is an essential component of eukaryotic innate immune signalling pathways. Interaction between TIR domains present in Toll-like receptors and associated adaptors initiates and propagates an immune signalling cascade. Proteins containing TIR domains have also been discovered in bacteria. Studies have subsequently shown that these proteins are able to modulate mammalian immune signalling pathways dependent on TIR interactions and that this may represent an evasion strategy for bacterial pathogens. Here, we investigate a TIR domain protein from the highly virulent bacterium Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. When overexpressed in vitro this protein is able to downregulate IL-1β- and LPS-dependent signalling to NFκB and to interact with the TIR adaptor protein MyD88. This interaction is dependent on a single proline residue. However, a Y. pestis knockout mutant lacking the TIR domain protein was not attenuated in virulence in a mouse model of bubonic plague. Minor alterations in the host cytokine response to the mutant were indicated, suggesting a potential subtle role in pathogenesis. The Y. pestis mutant also showed increased auto-aggregation and reduced survival in high-salinity conditions, phenotypes which may contribute to pathogenesis or survival.

  5. Assessment of Live Plague Vaccine Candidates.

    PubMed

    Feodorova, Valentina A; Sayapina, Lidiya V; Motin, Vladimir L

    2016-01-01

    Since its creation in the early twentieth century, live plague vaccine EV has been successfully applied to millions of people without severe complications. This vaccine has been proven to elicit protection against both bubonic and pneumonic plague, and it is still in use in populations at risk mainly in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Despite extensive efforts in developing subunit vaccines, there is a reviving interest in creation of a precisely attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis superior to the EV that can serve as a live plague vaccine with improved characteristics. Here we summarize decades of experience of the Russian anti-plague research in developing a standard protocol for early-stage evaluation of safety and immunogenicity of live plague vaccines. This protocol allows step-by-step comparison of the novel test candidates with the EV vaccine by using subcutaneous immunization and bubonic plague infection models in two animal species, e.g., guinea pigs and mice. PMID:27076149

  6. Assessment of Live Plague Vaccine Candidates.

    PubMed

    Feodorova, Valentina A; Sayapina, Lidiya V; Motin, Vladimir L

    2016-01-01

    Since its creation in the early twentieth century, live plague vaccine EV has been successfully applied to millions of people without severe complications. This vaccine has been proven to elicit protection against both bubonic and pneumonic plague, and it is still in use in populations at risk mainly in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Despite extensive efforts in developing subunit vaccines, there is a reviving interest in creation of a precisely attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis superior to the EV that can serve as a live plague vaccine with improved characteristics. Here we summarize decades of experience of the Russian anti-plague research in developing a standard protocol for early-stage evaluation of safety and immunogenicity of live plague vaccines. This protocol allows step-by-step comparison of the novel test candidates with the EV vaccine by using subcutaneous immunization and bubonic plague infection models in two animal species, e.g., guinea pigs and mice.

  7. Plague: Modern Preventive Measures in Ships and Ports: (Section of Tropical Diseases and Parasitology).

    PubMed

    White, C F

    1935-03-01

    Maritime quarantine, introduced in the fourteenth century in an endeavour to prevent the spread of plague. Though the system failed to achieve its object, and was expensive and restrictive to sea-borne commerce, it survived for over 500 years, presumably because, in the absence of knowledge of the aetiology of plague, no method of procedure more likely to be successful could be devised. This country acknowledged the failure of quarantine as a preventive measure in the middle of last century, and substituted the medical inspection of ships on arrival, though the last Quarantine Act was not repealed till 1896. Nevertheless it was not till the discovery of the rôle of the rat and the rat-flea in the spread of plague that it was possible to establish plague-preventive measures on a sound scientific basis.It is now recognized that a Port Health Authority must not only take steps to detect plague, human or rodent, afloat or ashore, at the earliest possible moment, but must eliminate conditions in ships and in shore premises which are conducive to the development of an epizoötic. Though here, and in other countries with an enlightened Public Health Administration, practice has long been ahead of legislation, the International Sanitary Convention of 1926 has now established throughout the world a large measure of uniformity in measures designed to prevent the spread of the more dangerous epidemic diseases by overseas trade, and the Port Sanitary Regulations 1933 have brought quarantine legislation in this country up to date.For the detection of plague every ship arriving from a plague-infected port is medically inspected on arrival, but even if there is no evidence of plague-infection on board, such ships are examined daily by a rat-officer until the discharge of cargo is complete. Dead rats found and live rats trapped are bacteriologically examined. If a rat is reported to be infected the vessel is fumigated at once. The discharge of cargo is then continued under

  8. Plague dynamics are driven by climate variation

    PubMed Central

    Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Samia, Noelle I.; Viljugrein, Hildegunn; Kausrud, Kyrre Linné; Begon, Mike; Davis, Stephen; Leirs, Herwig; Dubyanskiy, V. M.; Esper, Jan; Ageyev, Vladimir S.; Klassovskiy, Nikolay L.; Pole, Sergey B.; Chan, Kung-Sik

    2006-01-01

    The bacterium Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plague. In Central Asia, where human plague is still reported regularly, the bacterium is common in natural populations of great gerbils. By using field data from 1949–1995 and previously undescribed statistical techniques, we show that Y. pestis prevalence in gerbils increases with warmer springs and wetter summers: A 1°C increase in spring is predicted to lead to a >50% increase in prevalence. Climatic conditions favoring plague apparently existed in this region at the onset of the Black Death as well as when the most recent plague pandemic arose in the same region, and they are expected to continue or become more favorable as a result of climate change. Threats of outbreaks may thus be increasing where humans live in close contact with rodents and fleas (or other wildlife) harboring endemic plague. PMID:16924109

  9. Human plague in 1992.

    PubMed

    1994-01-14

    Trends in the incidence of human plague cases reported to the World Health Organization were provided for 1992 and between 1978 and 1992 by country. Not all countries report or record plague. In 1992, there were 9 countries reporting a total of 1582 cases, of which 138 were deaths. In 1991, there were 10 countries reporting a total of 1966 cases, of which 133 were deaths. The case fatality rate in 1992 was 8.7% and 10.4% averaged over the previous 10 years. Between 1978 and 1992, 14,856 cases of plague were reported, of which 1451 cases were fatal. Countries reporting totaled 21, but only 6 reported almost annually: Brazil, Madagascar, Myanmar, the United Republic of Tanzania, the USA, and Viet Nam. Peak numbers of cases occurred in 1984, 1988, and 1990-92. Africa totaled 61% of cases and 77% of deaths. In 1992, Madagascar and Zaire reported 412 cases, of which 102 were fatal. Plague in Madagascar was concentrated in the provinces of Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, and Toamasina. Most of the cases in 1991 were from Antananarivo Province (61 cases and 19 deaths) and Fianarantsoa Province (99 case and 5 deaths). Plague peaks occurred in January through May and November and December. Zaire deaths were concentrated in Upper Zaire in 5 rural Heath Zones: Logo (125 cases and 47 deaths), Rethy (54 cases and 4 deaths), Nyarembe (22 cases and 9 deaths), Rimba (11 cases and 4 deaths), and Bunia (2 cases and 1 death). Almost 60% of all deaths occurred during May to July and included bubonic, septicemic, and pulmonary plague. American plague cases totaled 158 and 6 deaths (Peru, Brazil, and the USA). Asia reported 1012 cases and 26 cases (China, Mongolia, Myanmar, and Viet Nam). In the USA, the 13 cases were recorded as 1 each in Frenso County, California; Owyhee County, Idaho; Douglas County, Nevada; Utah County, Utah; and Sheridan County, Wyoming; 2 in New Mexico (Santa Fe, and Albuquerque and San Miguel Counties); and Arizona (3 in Apache County and 1 in Pima County

  10. Role of the Yersinia pestis yersiniabactin iron acquisition system in the incidence of flea-borne plague.

    PubMed

    Sebbane, Florent; Jarrett, Clayton; Gardner, Donald; Long, Daniel; Hinnebusch, B Joseph

    2010-12-17

    Plague is a flea-borne zoonosis caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mutants lacking the yersiniabactin (Ybt) siderophore-based iron transport system are avirulent when inoculated intradermally but fully virulent when inoculated intravenously in mice. Presumably, Ybt is required to provide sufficient iron at the peripheral injection site, suggesting that Ybt would be an essential virulence factor for flea-borne plague. Here, using a flea-to-mouse transmission model, we show that a Y. pestis strain lacking the Ybt system causes fatal plague at low incidence when transmitted by fleas. Bacteriology and histology analyses revealed that a Ybt-negative strain caused only primary septicemic plague and atypical bubonic plague instead of the typical bubonic form of disease. The results provide new evidence that primary septicemic plague is a distinct clinical entity and suggest that unusual forms of plague may be caused by atypical Y. pestis strains.

  11. Plague Symptoms

    MedlinePlus

    ... Search The CDC Cancel Submit Search The CDC Plague Note: Javascript is disabled or is not supported ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Plague Home Ecology & Transmission Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment Maps & Statistics ...

  12. Plague Prevention

    MedlinePlus

    ... Search The CDC Cancel Submit Search The CDC Plague Note: Javascript is disabled or is not supported ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Plague Home Ecology & Transmission Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment Maps & Statistics ...

  13. [The Justinian plague (part one)].

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, Sergio; Manfredi, Roberto; Fiorino, Sirio

    2012-06-01

    In their medical-historical review, the authors assess the evolution of bubonic plague epidemics: after breaking out in the Egyptian port of Pelusium in October 541 AD, the epidemics hit several regions in the Mediterranean basin in a succession of waves. The so-called Justinian plague took its name from the Byzantine emperor of the period, and seriously conditioned the expansionary aims of the Eastern Roman empire towards Italy (which was occupied by Goths), and Northern Africa (where the Vandals had settled), during the first decades of its spread. In the Eastern Empire the plague played a considerable role in reducing the tensions between Persians and Byzantines, especially on the Syrian and Anatolian fronts. It had a major demographic impact, reducing the possibility of recruitment to the Roman legions and leading to a significant drop in tax revenues, which were essential to sustain the state and its military machine. Finally, the plague also took its toll on economic resources (especially agriculture), indirectly leading to a vicious inflationary circle. In the space of over two centuries, plague epidemics paralyzed most trade and commercial exchanges. Furthermore, the Justinian plague, halting the consolidation of the influence of the Eastern Roman empire over some Western regions (including Italy and Northern Africa, which were ruled by Barbarians), supported the development and rise of a number of Roman-Barbarian kingdoms. It may therefore be suggested that the Justinian plague occurred at a very critical historical moment, which represents the real watershed between the Ancient World and the upcoming Middle Ages. PMID:22767313

  14. [The Justinian plague (part one)].

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, Sergio; Manfredi, Roberto; Fiorino, Sirio

    2012-06-01

    In their medical-historical review, the authors assess the evolution of bubonic plague epidemics: after breaking out in the Egyptian port of Pelusium in October 541 AD, the epidemics hit several regions in the Mediterranean basin in a succession of waves. The so-called Justinian plague took its name from the Byzantine emperor of the period, and seriously conditioned the expansionary aims of the Eastern Roman empire towards Italy (which was occupied by Goths), and Northern Africa (where the Vandals had settled), during the first decades of its spread. In the Eastern Empire the plague played a considerable role in reducing the tensions between Persians and Byzantines, especially on the Syrian and Anatolian fronts. It had a major demographic impact, reducing the possibility of recruitment to the Roman legions and leading to a significant drop in tax revenues, which were essential to sustain the state and its military machine. Finally, the plague also took its toll on economic resources (especially agriculture), indirectly leading to a vicious inflationary circle. In the space of over two centuries, plague epidemics paralyzed most trade and commercial exchanges. Furthermore, the Justinian plague, halting the consolidation of the influence of the Eastern Roman empire over some Western regions (including Italy and Northern Africa, which were ruled by Barbarians), supported the development and rise of a number of Roman-Barbarian kingdoms. It may therefore be suggested that the Justinian plague occurred at a very critical historical moment, which represents the real watershed between the Ancient World and the upcoming Middle Ages.

  15. Historical Y. pestis Genomes Reveal the European Black Death as the Source of Ancient and Modern Plague Pandemics.

    PubMed

    Spyrou, Maria A; Tukhbatova, Rezeda I; Feldman, Michal; Drath, Joanna; Kacki, Sacha; Beltrán de Heredia, Julia; Arnold, Susanne; Sitdikov, Airat G; Castex, Dominique; Wahl, Joachim; Gazimzyanov, Ilgizar R; Nurgaliev, Danis K; Herbig, Alexander; Bos, Kirsten I; Krause, Johannes

    2016-06-01

    Ancient DNA analysis has revealed an involvement of the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis in several historical pandemics, including the second plague pandemic (Europe, mid-14(th) century Black Death until the mid-18(th) century AD). Here we present reconstructed Y. pestis genomes from plague victims of the Black Death and two subsequent historical outbreaks spanning Europe and its vicinity, namely Barcelona, Spain (1300-1420 cal AD), Bolgar City, Russia (1362-1400 AD), and Ellwangen, Germany (1485-1627 cal AD). Our results provide support for (1) a single entry of Y. pestis in Europe during the Black Death, (2) a wave of plague that traveled toward Asia to later become the source population for contemporary worldwide epidemics, and (3) the presence of an historical European plague focus involved in post-Black Death outbreaks that is now likely extinct. PMID:27281573

  16. Historical Y. pestis Genomes Reveal the European Black Death as the Source of Ancient and Modern Plague Pandemics.

    PubMed

    Spyrou, Maria A; Tukhbatova, Rezeda I; Feldman, Michal; Drath, Joanna; Kacki, Sacha; Beltrán de Heredia, Julia; Arnold, Susanne; Sitdikov, Airat G; Castex, Dominique; Wahl, Joachim; Gazimzyanov, Ilgizar R; Nurgaliev, Danis K; Herbig, Alexander; Bos, Kirsten I; Krause, Johannes

    2016-06-01

    Ancient DNA analysis has revealed an involvement of the bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis in several historical pandemics, including the second plague pandemic (Europe, mid-14(th) century Black Death until the mid-18(th) century AD). Here we present reconstructed Y. pestis genomes from plague victims of the Black Death and two subsequent historical outbreaks spanning Europe and its vicinity, namely Barcelona, Spain (1300-1420 cal AD), Bolgar City, Russia (1362-1400 AD), and Ellwangen, Germany (1485-1627 cal AD). Our results provide support for (1) a single entry of Y. pestis in Europe during the Black Death, (2) a wave of plague that traveled toward Asia to later become the source population for contemporary worldwide epidemics, and (3) the presence of an historical European plague focus involved in post-Black Death outbreaks that is now likely extinct.

  17. The plague under Commodus as an unintended consequence of Roman grain market regulation.

    PubMed

    Silver, Morris

    2012-01-01

    This paper begins with a review of Roman grain market policies. It is argued that policies such as forced sales and maximum prices made urban consumers hesitant to rely on the market for secure access to grain. Consequently, consumers hoarded grain in their homes. The hoarded grain formed a volatile fuel ready to be ignited by the arrival of the bubonic plague bacillus. This scenario fits events in the city of Rome under Commodus. Attested grain market interventions were followed by a severe epidemic, arguably bubonic plague, which decimated the city's population. PMID:22611582

  18. The plague under Commodus as an unintended consequence of Roman grain market regulation.

    PubMed

    Silver, Morris

    2012-01-01

    This paper begins with a review of Roman grain market policies. It is argued that policies such as forced sales and maximum prices made urban consumers hesitant to rely on the market for secure access to grain. Consequently, consumers hoarded grain in their homes. The hoarded grain formed a volatile fuel ready to be ignited by the arrival of the bubonic plague bacillus. This scenario fits events in the city of Rome under Commodus. Attested grain market interventions were followed by a severe epidemic, arguably bubonic plague, which decimated the city's population.

  19. Plague: history and contemporary analysis.

    PubMed

    Raoult, Didier; Mouffok, Nadjet; Bitam, Idir; Piarroux, Renaud; Drancourt, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Plague has caused ravaging outbreaks, including the Justinian plague and the "black death" in the Middle Ages. The causative agents of these outbreaks have been confirmed using modern molecular tests. The vector of plague during pandemics remains the subject of controversy. Nowadays, plague must be suspected in all areas where plague is endemic in rodents when patients present with adenitis or with pneumonia with a bloody expectorate. Diagnosis is more difficult in the situation of the reemergence of plague, as in Algeria for example, told by the first physician involved in that outbreak (NM). When in doubt, it is preferable to prescribe treatment with doxycycline while waiting for the test results because of the risk of fatality in individuals with plague. The typical bubo is a type of adenitis that is painful, red and nonfluctuating. The diagnosis is simple when microbiological analysis is conducted. Plague is a likely diagnosis when one sees gram-negative bacilli in lymph node aspirate or biopsy samples. Yersinia pestis grows very easily in blood cultures and is easy to identify by biochemical tests and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Pneumonic plague and septicemic plague without adenitis are difficult to diagnose, and these diagnoses are often made by chance or retrospectively when cases are not part of an epidemic or related to another specific epidemiologic context. The treatment of plague must be based on gentamicin or doxycycline. Treatment with one of these antibiotics must be started as soon as plague is suspected. Analysis of past plague epidemics by using modern laboratory tools illustrated the value of epidemic buboes for the clinical diagnosis of plague; and brought new concepts regarding its transmission by human ectoparasites.

  20. [Yersinia pestis and plague - an update].

    PubMed

    Stock, Ingo

    2014-12-01

    The plague of man is a severe, systemic bacterial infectious disease. Without antibacterial therapy, the disease is associated with a high case fatality rate, ranging from 40% (bubonic plague) to nearly 100% (septicemic and pneumonic plague). The disease is caused by Yersinia pestis, a non-motile, gram-negative, facultative anaerobic bacterium belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae. In nature, Y. pestis has been found in several rodent species and some other small animals such as shrews. Within its reservoir host, Y. pestis circulates via flea bites. Transmission of Y. pestis to humans occurs by the bite of rat fleas, other flea vectors or by non vectorial routes, e. g., handling infected animals or consumption of contaminated food. Human-to-human transmission of the pathogen occurs primarily through aerosol droplets. Compared to the days when plague was a pandemic scourge, the disease is now relatively rare and limited to some rural areas of Africa. During the last ten years, however, plague outbreaks have been registered repea- tedly in some African regions. For treatment of plague, streptomycin is still considered the drug of choice. Chloramphenicol, doxycycline, gentamicin and ciprofloxacin are also promising drugs. Recombinant vaccines against plague are in clinical development.

  1. Progress on plague vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Rosenzweig, Jason A; Jejelowo, Olufisayo; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E; Brackman, Sheri M; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Cristina J; Chopra, Ashok K

    2011-07-01

    Yersinia pestis (YP), the gram-negative plague bacterium, has shaped human history unlike any other pathogen known to mankind. YP (transmitted by the bite of an infected flea) diverged only recently from the related enteric pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis but causes radically different diseases. Three forms of plague exist in humans: bubonic (swollen lymph nodes or bubos), septicemic (spread of YP through the lymphatics or bloodstream from the bubos to other organs), and contagious, pneumonic plague which can be communicated via YP-charged respiratory droplets resulting in person-person transmission and rapid death if left untreated (50-90% mortality). Despite the potential threat of weaponized YP being employed in bioterrorism and YP infections remaining prevalent in endemic regions of the world where rodent populations are high (including the four corner regions of the USA), an efficacious vaccine that confers immunoprotection has yet to be developed. This review article will describe the current vaccine candidates being evaluated in various model systems and provide an overall summary on the progress of this important endeavor.

  2. yadBC of Yersinia pestis, a New Virulence Determinant for Bubonic Plague▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Forman, Stanislav; Wulff, Christine R.; Myers-Morales, Tanya; Cowan, Clarissa; Perry, Robert D.; Straley, Susan C.

    2008-01-01

    In all Yersinia pestis strains examined, the adhesin/invasin yadA gene is a pseudogene, yet Y. pestis is invasive for epithelial cells. To identify potential surface proteins that are structurally and functionally similar to YadA, we searched the Y. pestis genome for open reading frames with homology to yadA and found three: the bicistronic operon yadBC (YPO1387 and YPO1388 of Y. pestis CO92; y2786 and y2785 of Y. pestis KIM5), which encodes two putative surface proteins, and YPO0902, which lacks a signal sequence and likely is nonfunctional. In this study we characterized yadBC regulation and tested the importance of this operon for Y. pestis adherence, invasion, and virulence. We found that loss of yadBC caused a modest loss of invasiveness for epithelioid cells and a large decrease in virulence for bubonic plague but not for pneumonic plague in mice. PMID:18025093

  3. Imported plague--New York City, 2002.

    PubMed

    2003-08-01

    On November 1, 2002, a married couple traveled from Santa Fe County, New Mexico, to New York City (NYC), where they both became ill with fever and unilateral inguinal adenopathy; bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis) was diagnosed subsequently. This report summarizes the clinical and public health investigation of these cases and underscores the importance of rapid diagnosis and communication among health-care providers, public health agencies, and the public when patients seek medical attention for an illness that might be caused by an agent of terrorism.

  4. Plague Factsheet

    MedlinePlus

    ... other rodent species, for instance, prairie dogs, wood rats, chipmunks, and other ground squirrels and their fleas, ... epidemic plague requires the reducing or eliminating house rat populations in both urban and rural areas. Control ...

  5. Plague Maps and Statistics

    MedlinePlus

    ... and Statistics Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Plague in the United States Plague was first introduced ... per year in the United States: 1900-2012. Plague Worldwide Plague epidemics have occurred in Africa, Asia, ...

  6. Epidemic waves during Justinian's plague in the Byzantine Empire (6th-8th c. AD).

    PubMed

    Tsiamis, C; Poulakou-Rebelakou, E; Tsakris, A; Petridou, E

    2011-06-01

    The aim of the present study is to collect the epidemic outbreaks and the epidemic waves of the bubonic plague of the Byzantine Empire during the first pandemic (541-751 AD). Human activities, such as trade and military movements have been speculated as underlying factors for the causation of the pandemic. Historical data combined with geographical spreading of the plague, allows an alternative speculation of suspicious enzootic areas in the Middle East. We conclude that the possible existence of enzootic areas in that region might have been responsible for the causation of the numerous outbreaks of the bubonic plague in the Eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire during the 6th-8th century period.

  7. Dynamics of the plague-wildlife-human system in Central Asia are controlled by two epidemiological thresholds.

    PubMed

    Samia, Noelle I; Kausrud, Kyrre Linné; Heesterbeek, Hans; Ageyev, Vladimir; Begon, Mike; Chan, Kung-Sik; Stenseth, Nils C

    2011-08-30

    Plague (caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis) is a zoonotic reemerging infectious disease with reservoirs in rodent populations worldwide. Using one-half of a century of unique data (1949-1995) from Kazakhstan on plague dynamics, including data on the main rodent host reservoir (great gerbil), main vector (flea), human cases, and external (climate) conditions, we analyze the full ecoepidemiological (bubonic) plague system. We show that two epidemiological threshold quantities play key roles: one threshold relating to the dynamics in the host reservoir, and the second threshold relating to the spillover of the plague bacteria into the human population.

  8. Plague in Guinea pigs and its prevention by subunit vaccines.

    PubMed

    Quenee, Lauriane E; Ciletti, Nancy; Berube, Bryan; Krausz, Thomas; Elli, Derek; Hermanas, Timothy; Schneewind, Olaf

    2011-04-01

    Human pneumonic plague is a devastating and transmissible disease for which a Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine is not available. Suitable animal models may be adopted as a surrogate for human plague to fulfill regulatory requirements for vaccine efficacy testing. To develop an alternative to pneumonic plague in nonhuman primates, we explored guinea pigs as a model system. On intranasal instillation of a fully virulent strain, Yersinia pestis CO92, guinea pigs developed lethal lung infections with hemorrhagic necrosis, massive bacterial replication in the respiratory system, and blood-borne dissemination to other organ systems. Expression of the Y. pestis F1 capsule was not required for the development of pulmonary infection; however, the capsule seemed to be important for the establishment of bubonic plague. The mean lethal dose (MLD) for pneumonic plague in guinea pigs was estimated to be 1000 colony-forming units. Immunization of guinea pigs with the recombinant forms of LcrV, a protein that resides at the tip of Yersinia type III secretion needles, or F1 capsule generated robust humoral immune responses. Whereas LcrV immunization resulted in partial protection against pneumonic plague challenge with 250 MLD Y. pestis CO92, immunization with recombinant F1 did not. rV10, a vaccine variant lacking LcrV residues 271-300, elicited protection against pneumonic plague, which seemed to be based on conformational antibodies directed against LcrV.

  9. [The spread of the plague: A sciento-historiographic review].

    PubMed

    Cuadrada, Coral

    2015-01-01

    There is still uncertainty about the diagnosis and nature of the plague; some scholars have been forced to abandon certainties and be filled with doubts: from believing that the mediaeval Black Plague was, in reality, the bubonic plague (although with unusual characteristics) to stating that there is very little evidence to support a retro-diagnosis. This article looks at this in depth, not only reviewing the historiography but also giving new interpretations which question previous hypotheses through research on images of the time, comparing them to the most recent investigative data. Two primary sources are analysed: Renaissance treaties written by four Italian doctors: Michele Savonarola, Marsilio Ficino, Leonardo Fioravanti and Gioseffo Daciano; and iconography: an illustrated manuscript of the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio and a Hebrew Haggadah from the XIVth century. The results are compared to the most recent research on DNA and in micropaleontology.

  10. Earthquakes and plague during Byzantine times: can lessons from the past improve epidemic preparedness.

    PubMed

    Tsiamis, Costas; Poulakou-Rebelakou, Effie; Marketos, Spyros

    2013-01-01

    Natural disasters have always been followed by a fear of infectious diseases. This raised historical debate about one of the most feared scenarios: the outbreak of bubonic plague caused by Yersinia pestis. One such event was recorded in the Indian state Maharashtra in 1994 after an earthquake. In multidisciplinary historical approach to the evolution of plague, many experts ignore the possibility of natural foci and their activation. This article presents historical records from the Byzantine Empire about outbreaks of the Plague of Justinian occurring months or even up to a year after high-magnitude earthquakes. Historical records of plague outbreaks can be used to document existence of natural foci all over the world. Knowledge of these historical records and the contemporary examples of plague support the assumption that, in terms of organising humanitarian aid, poor monitoring of natural foci could lead to unpredictable epidemiological consequences after high-magnitude earthquakes.

  11. Climatically driven synchrony of gerbil populations allows large-scale plague outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Kausrud, Kyrre Linné; Viljugrein, Hildegunn; Frigessi, Arnoldo; Begon, Mike; Davis, Stephen; Leirs, Herwig; Dubyanskiy, Vladimir; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2007-08-22

    In central Asia, the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) is the main host for the bacterium Yersinia pestis, the cause of bubonic plague. In order to prevent plague outbreaks, monitoring of the great gerbil has been carried out in Kazakhstan since the late 1940s. We use the resulting data to demonstrate that climate forcing synchronizes the dynamics of gerbils over large geographical areas. As it is known that gerbil densities need to exceed a threshold level for plague to persist, synchrony in gerbil abundance across large geographical areas is likely to be a condition for plague outbreaks at similar large scales. Here, we substantiate this proposition through autoregressive modelling involving the normalized differentiated vegetation index as a forcing covariate. Based upon predicted climate changes, our study suggests that during the next century, plague epizootics may become more frequent in central Asia.

  12. [The arrival of the plague in São Paulo in 1899].

    PubMed

    do Nascimento, Dilene Raimundo

    2011-01-01

    In October 1899, the bubonic plague arrived in Brazil through the port of Santos. A city of intensive port activity, Santos was the gateway for a plague epidemic that devastated several cities in Brazil in the early 20th century and prompted joint action by several states to fight it. More importantly, given the difficulties and delays in importing anti-plague serum from Europe, it led to the creation of the Butantan Institute in Sao Paulo (in 1899) and the Municipal Serotherapeutic Institute in Rio de Janeiro (in 1900), which developed and standardized anti-plague serum and vaccines according to the particular conditions of the country. Until then, public health efforts had been isolated and had not reached the whole country. Oswaldo Cruz, newly arrived after three years of specialization at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, worked with scientists Adolfo Lutz and Vital Brazil on identifying the plague in Santos. This article analyzes the arrival of the bubonic plague epidemic in the state of Sao Paulo and the public health measures taken to combat the disease and provide patient care in the early part of the 20th century. The primary sources for this analysis were the São Paulo newspapers, especially O Estado de Sao Paulo, and reports from the Ministry of Justice and the President of the State of Sao Paulo.

  13. [Anti-plague vaccination: past and future perspectives].

    PubMed

    Merlin, M

    1999-12-01

    The impact of the three historic plague pandemics will remain engraved forever in the collective memory. During the first half of the XXth century, the development of vaccines inducing protection against bubonic plague, the first production of antibiotics, insecticides and raticides, could have lead some people to think that eradication was possible. But according to the data of epidemiological surveillance, far from disappearing, plague is remaining or so increasing that it is considered, in some places, as a reemerging disease. Yersinia pestis is highly variable, and a multidrug resistant strain has been isolated in 1995 in the Ambalavo district of Madagascar. This high-level of resistance includes the drugs recommended for plague prophylaxis and therapy, and this observation pointed the fact that Yersinia pestis is able to acquire the plasmid carrying the resistance genes, under natural conditions. Consequently, it is not unreasonable to think that clinically ominous events could occur again. Moreover, currently available vaccines do not induce protection against the pneumonic form of plague, and are reactogenic. Lastly, according to some accurate sources, one cannot turn down the assumption of a genetically engineered strain of Yersinia pestis used as a biological weapon by a terrorist organization. So, the surveillance of plague remains a topical activity, as the development of none reactogenic live and/or inactivated new vaccines, inducing protection against the pneumonic form of the disease. PMID:11000956

  14. [A molecular basis of the plague vaccine development].

    PubMed

    Dentovskaia, S V; Kopylov, P Kh; Ivanov, S A; Ageev, S A; Anisimov, A P

    2013-01-01

    Molecular mechanisms of the Yersinia pestis pathogenicity and peculiarities of maturation of specific immunity to plague are reviewed. The history and modern state of the plague vaccine development are described. Special attention is focused on the prospects in the area of the plague vaccine development. The possible approaches to improvement of vaccine preparations are discussed.

  15. Plague: Frequently Asked Questions

    MedlinePlus

    ... visit this page: About CDC.gov . Plague Home Ecology & Transmission Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment Maps & Statistics Info for ... periods in the fleas. An illustration of plague ecology in the United States is available. Top of ...

  16. Plague Diagnosis and Treatment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Search The CDC Cancel Submit Search The CDC Plague Note: Javascript is disabled or is not supported ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Plague Home Ecology & Transmission Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment Maps & Statistics ...

  17. Evaluation of protective potential of Yersinia pestis outer membrane protein antigens as possible candidates for a new-generation recombinant plague vaccine.

    PubMed

    Erova, Tatiana E; Rosenzweig, Jason A; Sha, Jian; Suarez, Giovanni; Sierra, Johanna C; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Telepnev, Maxim V; Motin, Vladimir L; Chopra, Ashok K

    2013-02-01

    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis manifests itself in bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic forms. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved levofloxacin, there is no approved human vaccine against plague. The capsular antigen F1 and the low-calcium-response V antigen (LcrV) of Y. pestis represent excellent vaccine candidates; however, the inability of the immune responses to F1 and LcrV to provide protection against Y. pestis F1(-) strains or those which harbor variants of LcrV is a significant concern. Here, we show that the passive transfer of hyperimmune sera from rats infected with the plague bacterium and rescued by levofloxacin protected naive animals against pneumonic plague. Furthermore, 10 to 12 protein bands from wild-type (WT) Y. pestis CO92 reacted with the aforementioned hyperimmune sera upon Western blot analysis. Based on mass spectrometric analysis, four of these proteins were identified as attachment invasion locus (Ail/OmpX), plasminogen-activating protease (Pla), outer membrane protein A (OmpA), and F1. The genes encoding these proteins were cloned, and the recombinant proteins purified from Escherichia coli for immunization purposes before challenging mice and rats with either the F1(-) mutant or WT CO92 in bubonic and pneumonic plague models. Although antibodies to Ail and OmpA protected mice against bubonic plague when challenged with the F1(-) CO92 strain, Pla antibodies were protective against pneumonic plague. In the rat model, antibodies to Ail provided protection only against pneumonic plague after WT CO92 challenge. Together, the addition of Y. pestis outer membrane proteins to a new-generation recombinant vaccine could provide protection against a wide variety of Y. pestis strains.

  18. Enzootic plague foci, Algeria

    PubMed Central

    Malek, M.A.; Hammani, A.; Beneldjouzi, A.; Bitam, I.

    2014-01-01

    In Algeria, PCR sequencing of pla, glpD and rpoB genes found Yersinia pestis in 18/237 (8%) rodents of five species, including Apodemus sylvaticus, previously undescribed as pestiferous; and disclosed three new plague foci. Multiple spacer typing confirmed a new Orientalis variant. Rodent survey should be reinforced in this country hosting reemerging plague. PMID:25834736

  19. The biblical plague of the Philistines now has a name, tularemia.

    PubMed

    Trevisanato, Siro Igino

    2007-01-01

    An epidemic thought to have been the first instance of bubonic plague in the Mediterranean reveals to have been an episode of tularemia. The deadly epidemic took place in the aftermath of the removal of a wooden box from an isolated Hebrew sanctuary. Death, tumors, and rodents thereafter plagued Philistine country. Unlike earlier explanations proposed, tularemia caused by Francisella tularensis exhaustively explains the outbreak. Tularemia fits all the requirements indicated in the biblical text: it is carried by animals, is transmitted to humans, results in the development of ulceroglandular formations, often misdiagnosed for bubonic plague, and is fatal. Moreover, there is the evidence from the box and rodents: mice, which are known carrier for F. tularensis and can communicate it to humans, were credited by the very Philistines to be linked to the outbreak, and are small enough to nest in the box. Mice also explain the otherwise odd statement in the biblical text of a small Philistine idol repeatedly falling on the floor at night in the building where the Philistines had stored the box as mice exiting the box would easily have tipped over the statuette. Tularemia scores yet another point: an episode of the disease is known to have originated in Canaan and spread to Egypt around 1715 BC, indicating recurrence for the disease, and suggesting Canaan was a reservoir for F. tularensis in the 2nd millennium BC.

  20. The biblical plague of the Philistines now has a name, tularemia.

    PubMed

    Trevisanato, Siro Igino

    2007-01-01

    An epidemic thought to have been the first instance of bubonic plague in the Mediterranean reveals to have been an episode of tularemia. The deadly epidemic took place in the aftermath of the removal of a wooden box from an isolated Hebrew sanctuary. Death, tumors, and rodents thereafter plagued Philistine country. Unlike earlier explanations proposed, tularemia caused by Francisella tularensis exhaustively explains the outbreak. Tularemia fits all the requirements indicated in the biblical text: it is carried by animals, is transmitted to humans, results in the development of ulceroglandular formations, often misdiagnosed for bubonic plague, and is fatal. Moreover, there is the evidence from the box and rodents: mice, which are known carrier for F. tularensis and can communicate it to humans, were credited by the very Philistines to be linked to the outbreak, and are small enough to nest in the box. Mice also explain the otherwise odd statement in the biblical text of a small Philistine idol repeatedly falling on the floor at night in the building where the Philistines had stored the box as mice exiting the box would easily have tipped over the statuette. Tularemia scores yet another point: an episode of the disease is known to have originated in Canaan and spread to Egypt around 1715 BC, indicating recurrence for the disease, and suggesting Canaan was a reservoir for F. tularensis in the 2nd millennium BC. PMID:17467189

  1. Plagues at the Gate.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siebert, Charles

    1995-01-01

    Discusses efforts to prevent the global expansion of killer viruses that threaten humans and livestock populations. Focuses on virus research efforts conducted at Plum Island. Profiles the most worrisome of potential plagues. (LZ)

  2. Protect Yourself from Plague

    MedlinePlus

    ... the groin, armpit or neck. Other symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and extreme exhaustion. A person usually becomes ... plague bacteria infect the lungs. Symptoms include high fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, and coughing up bloody mucus. ...

  3. The tale of a modern animal plague: Tracing the evolutionary history and determining the time-scale for foot and mouth disease virus

    SciTech Connect

    Tully, Damien C. Fares, Mario A.

    2008-12-20

    Despite significant advances made in the understanding of its epidemiology, foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) is among the most unexpected agricultural devastating plagues. While the disease manifests itself as seven immunologically distinct strains their origin, population dynamics, migration patterns and divergence times remain unknown. Herein we have assembled a comprehensive data set of gene sequences representing the global diversity of the disease and inferred the time-scale and evolutionary history for FMDV. Serotype-specific rates of evolution and divergence times were estimated using a Bayesian coalescent framework. We report that an ancient precursor FMDV gave rise to two major diversification events spanning a relatively short interval of time. This radiation event is estimated to have taken place towards the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century giving us the present circulating Euro-Asiatic and South African viral strains. Furthermore our results hint that Europe acted as a possible hub for the disease from where it successfully dispersed elsewhere via exploration and trading routes.

  4. The tale of a modern animal plague: tracing the evolutionary history and determining the time-scale for foot and mouth disease virus.

    PubMed

    Tully, Damien C; Fares, Mario A

    2008-12-20

    Despite significant advances made in the understanding of its epidemiology, foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) is among the most unexpected agricultural devastating plagues. While the disease manifests itself as seven immunologically distinct strains their origin, population dynamics, migration patterns and divergence times remain unknown. Herein we have assembled a comprehensive data set of gene sequences representing the global diversity of the disease and inferred the time-scale and evolutionary history for FMDV. Serotype-specific rates of evolution and divergence times were estimated using a Bayesian coalescent framework. We report that an ancient precursor FMDV gave rise to two major diversification events spanning a relatively short interval of time. This radiation event is estimated to have taken place towards the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century giving us the present circulating Euro-Asiatic and South African viral strains. Furthermore our results hint that Europe acted as a possible hub for the disease from where it successfully dispersed elsewhere via exploration and trading routes.

  5. Outbreak of Plague in a High Malaria Endemic Region - Nyimba District, Zambia, March-May 2015.

    PubMed

    Sinyange, Nyambe; Kumar, Ramya; Inambao, Akatama; Moonde, Loveness; Chama, Jonathan; Banda, Mapopa; Tembo, Elliot; Nsonga, Beron; Mwaba, John; Fwoloshi, Sombo; Musokotwane, Kebby; Chizema, Elizabeth; Kapin'a, Muzala; Hang'ombe, Benard Mudenda; Baggett, Henry C; Hachaambwa, Lottie

    2016-01-01

    Outbreaks of plague have been recognized in Zambia since 1917 (1). On April 10, 2015, Zambia's Ministry of Health was notified by the Eastern Provincial Medical Office of possible bubonic plague cases in Nyimba District. Eleven patients with acute fever and cervical lymphadenopathy had been evaluated at two rural health centers during March 28-April 9, 2015; three patients died. To confirm the outbreak and develop control measures, the Zambia Ministry of Health's Field Epidemiology Training Program (ZFETP) conducted epidemiologic and laboratory investigations in partnership with the University of Zambia's schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the provincial and district medical offices. Twenty-one patients with clinically compatible plague were identified, with symptom onset during March 26-May 5, 2015. The median age was 8 years, and all patients were from the same village. Blood specimens or lymph node aspirates from six (29%) patients tested positive for Yersinia pestis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There is an urgent need to improve early identification and treatment of plague cases. PCR is a potential complementary tool for identifying plague, especially in areas with limited microbiologic capacity. Twelve (57%) patients, including all six with PCR-positive plague and all three who died, also tested positive for malaria by rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Plague patients coinfected with malaria might be misdiagnosed as solely having malaria, and appropriate antibacterial treatment to combat plague might not be given, increasing risk for mortality. Because patients with malaria might be coinfected with other pathogens, broad spectrum antibiotic treatment to cover other pathogens is recommended for all children with severe malaria, until a bacterial infection is excluded. PMID:27513350

  6. Outbreak of Plague in a High Malaria Endemic Region - Nyimba District, Zambia, March-May 2015.

    PubMed

    Sinyange, Nyambe; Kumar, Ramya; Inambao, Akatama; Moonde, Loveness; Chama, Jonathan; Banda, Mapopa; Tembo, Elliot; Nsonga, Beron; Mwaba, John; Fwoloshi, Sombo; Musokotwane, Kebby; Chizema, Elizabeth; Kapin'a, Muzala; Hang'ombe, Benard Mudenda; Baggett, Henry C; Hachaambwa, Lottie

    2016-08-12

    Outbreaks of plague have been recognized in Zambia since 1917 (1). On April 10, 2015, Zambia's Ministry of Health was notified by the Eastern Provincial Medical Office of possible bubonic plague cases in Nyimba District. Eleven patients with acute fever and cervical lymphadenopathy had been evaluated at two rural health centers during March 28-April 9, 2015; three patients died. To confirm the outbreak and develop control measures, the Zambia Ministry of Health's Field Epidemiology Training Program (ZFETP) conducted epidemiologic and laboratory investigations in partnership with the University of Zambia's schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and the provincial and district medical offices. Twenty-one patients with clinically compatible plague were identified, with symptom onset during March 26-May 5, 2015. The median age was 8 years, and all patients were from the same village. Blood specimens or lymph node aspirates from six (29%) patients tested positive for Yersinia pestis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). There is an urgent need to improve early identification and treatment of plague cases. PCR is a potential complementary tool for identifying plague, especially in areas with limited microbiologic capacity. Twelve (57%) patients, including all six with PCR-positive plague and all three who died, also tested positive for malaria by rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Plague patients coinfected with malaria might be misdiagnosed as solely having malaria, and appropriate antibacterial treatment to combat plague might not be given, increasing risk for mortality. Because patients with malaria might be coinfected with other pathogens, broad spectrum antibiotic treatment to cover other pathogens is recommended for all children with severe malaria, until a bacterial infection is excluded.

  7. [The Antonine plague].

    PubMed

    Haas, Charles

    2006-01-01

    During the reign of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Empire was struck by a long and destructive epidemic. It began in Mesopotamia in late AD 165 or early AD 166 during Verus' Parthian campaign, and quickly spread to Rome. It lasted at least until the death of Marcus Aurelius in AD 180 and likely into the early part of Commodus' reign. Its victims were "innumerable". Galen had first-hand knowledge of the disease. He was in Rome when the plague reached the city in AD 166. He was also present during an outbreak among troops stationed at Aquileia during the winter of AD 168-169. His references to the plague are scattered and brief but enough information is available to firmly identify the plague as smallpox. His description of the exanthema is fairly typical of the smallpox rash, particularly in the hemorrhagic phase of the disease. PMID:17195627

  8. Plague in a Pediatric Patient: Case Report and Use of Polymerase Chain Reaction as a Diagnostic Aid.

    PubMed

    Drummond, Wendi K; Nelson, Christina A; Fowler, Joe; Epson, Erin E; Mead, Paul S; Lawaczeck, Elisabeth W

    2014-12-01

    We report a case of bubonic plaque in a 7-year-old patient who presented with a core temperature of 107°F, seizures, vomiting, altered mental status, and septic shock. This case highlights the utility of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a diagnostic aid for rapid presumptive identification of Yersinia pestis as well as the importance of correlating PCR results with clinical data. We discuss the various manifestations of plague as they relate to infection control, postexposure prophylaxis, antimicrobial therapy, and treatment duration.

  9. ["I do not wish to be controversial": the arrival of the plague in Brazil; analysis of a controversy, 1899].

    PubMed

    Nascimento, Dilene Raimundo do; Silva, Matheus Alves Duarte da

    2013-11-30

    This article analyzes a debate brought to the public arena by Jornal do Commercio newspaper in August and September 1899 involving two sanitation officials: Nuno de Andrade, Director-General of Public Health, and Jorge Pinto, Director of Hygiene and Public Welfare of the State of Rio de Janeiro. The issue in question was the measures taken by the federal government to prevent bubonic plague reaching Brazil from Porto, Portugal, where there was an epidemic. The theoretical framework for the analysis is Pierre Bourdieu's notion of field, and Bruno Latour's studies into scientific controversy.

  10. Plague and Climate: Scales Matter

    PubMed Central

    Ben Ari, Tamara; Neerinckx, Simon; Gage, Kenneth L.; Kreppel, Katharina; Laudisoit, Anne; Leirs, Herwig; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2011-01-01

    Plague is enzootic in wildlife populations of small mammals in central and eastern Asia, Africa, South and North America, and has been recognized recently as a reemerging threat to humans. Its causative agent Yersinia pestis relies on wild rodent hosts and flea vectors for its maintenance in nature. Climate influences all three components (i.e., bacteria, vectors, and hosts) of the plague system and is a likely factor to explain some of plague's variability from small and regional to large scales. Here, we review effects of climate variables on plague hosts and vectors from individual or population scales to studies on the whole plague system at a large scale. Upscaled versions of small-scale processes are often invoked to explain plague variability in time and space at larger scales, presumably because similar scale-independent mechanisms underlie these relationships. This linearity assumption is discussed in the light of recent research that suggests some of its limitations. PMID:21949648

  11. Plague in Tanzania: an overview.

    PubMed

    Ziwa, Michael H; Matee, Mecky I; Hang'ombe, Bernard M; Lyamuya, Eligius F; Kilonzo, Bukheti S

    2013-10-01

    Human plague remains a public health concern in Tanzania despite its quiescence in most foci for years, considering the recurrence nature of the disease. Despite the long-standing history of this problem, there have not been recent reviews of the current knowledge on plague in Tanzania. This work aimed at providing a current overview of plague in Tanzania in terms of its introduction, potential reservoirs, possible causes of plague persistence and repeated outbreaks in the country. Plague is believed to have been introduced to Tanzania from the Middle East through Uganda with the first authentication in 1886. Xenopsylla brasiliensis, X. cheopis, Dinopsyllus lypusus, and Pulex irritans are among potential vectors while Lophuromys spp, Praomys delectorum, Graphiurus murinus, Lemniscomys striatus, Mastomys natalensis, and Rattus rattus may be the potential reservoirs. Plague persistence and repeated outbreaks in Tanzania are likely to be attributable to a complexity of factors including cultural, socio-economical, environmental and biological. Minimizing or preventing people's proximity to rodents is probably the most effective means of preventing plague outbreaks in humans in the future. In conclusion, much has been done on plague diagnosis in Tanzania. However, in order to achieve new insights into the features of plague epidemiology in the country, and to reorganize an effective control strategy, we recommend broader studies that will include the ecology of the pathogen, vectors and potential hosts, identifying the reservoirs, dynamics of infection and landscape ecology.

  12. [The complex plague--reconsiderations of an epidemic from the past].

    PubMed

    Moseng, Ole Georg

    2007-12-13

    Speculations have arisen about the black plague in recent years - was it a disease caused by YERSINIA PESTIS: or something else? Extensive outbreaks in India in the 1890s have formed the basis for descriptions of the plague, both for those who believe that the medieval plagues and modern plague were different diseases and for those who claim that the plague has been one and the same disease throughout history. The plague was more or less defined as a disease in the 1890s, and the understanding of its clinical course and dissemination at the time has uncritically been understood as the general model for spreading of the plague. But plague is a many-faceted disease. It has spread to five continents in modern times, through an array of ecosystems and under widely different climatic conditions. It can also be passed on to man, and from one individual to another, in different ways. The biological conditions that prevailed in India have not been relevant for medieval Norway. The preconditions for spreading of plague epidemics of the past in a Nordic climate must therefore have been different. It can only be expected that contemporary descriptions of historic epidemics are different from those in modern times.

  13. A Yersinia pestis tat mutant is attenuated in bubonic and small-aerosol pneumonic challenge models of infection but not as attenuated by intranasal challenge.

    PubMed

    Bozue, Joel; Cote, Christopher K; Chance, Taylor; Kugelman, Jeffrey; Kern, Steven J; Kijek, Todd K; Jenkins, Amy; Mou, Sherry; Moody, Krishna; Fritz, David; Robinson, Camenzind G; Bell, Todd; Worsham, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial proteins destined for the Tat pathway are folded before crossing the inner membrane and are typically identified by an N-terminal signal peptide containing a twin arginine motif. Translocation by the Tat pathway is dependent on the products of genes which encode proteins possessing the binding site of the signal peptide and mediating the actual translocation event. In the fully virulent CO92 strain of Yersinia pestis, the tatA gene was deleted. The mutant was assayed for loss of virulence through various in vitro and in vivo assays. Deletion of the tatA gene resulted in several consequences for the mutant as compared to wild-type. Cell morphology of the mutant bacteria was altered and demonstrated a more elongated form. In addition, while cultures of the mutant strain were able to produce a biofilm, we observed a loss of adhesion of the mutant biofilm structure compared to the biofilm produced by the wild-type strain. Immuno-electron microscopy revealed a partial disruption of the F1 antigen on the surface of the mutant. The virulence of the ΔtatA mutant was assessed in various murine models of plague. The mutant was severely attenuated in the bubonic model with full virulence restored by complementation with the native gene. After small-particle aerosol challenge in a pneumonic model of infection, the mutant was also shown to be attenuated. In contrast, when mice were challenged intranasally with the mutant, very little difference in the LD50 was observed between wild-type and mutant strains. However, an increased time-to-death and delay in bacterial dissemination was observed in mice infected with the ΔtatA mutant as compared to the parent strain. Collectively, these findings demonstrate an essential role for the Tat pathway in the virulence of Y. pestis in bubonic and small-aerosol pneumonic infection but less important role for intranasal challenge.

  14. Characterization of systemic and pneumonic murine models of plague infection using a conditionally virulent strain.

    PubMed

    Mellado-Sanchez, Gabriela; Ramirez, Karina; Drachenberg, Cinthia B; Diaz-McNair, Jovita; Rodriguez, Ana L; Galen, James E; Nataro, James P; Pasetti, Marcela F

    2013-03-01

    Yersinia pestis causes bubonic and pneumonic plague in humans. The pneumonic infection is the most severe and invariably fatal if untreated. Because of its high virulence, ease of delivery and precedent of use in warfare, Y. pestis is considered as a potential bioterror agent. No licensed plague vaccine is currently available in the US. Laboratory research with virulent strains requires appropriate biocontainment (i.e., Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) for procedures that generate aerosol/droplets) and secure facilities that comply with federal select agent regulations. To assist in the identification of promising vaccine candidates during the early phases of development, we characterized mouse models of systemic and pneumonic plague infection using the Y. pestis strain EV76, an attenuated human vaccine strain that can be rendered virulent in mice under in vivo iron supplementation. Mice inoculated intranasally or intravenously with Y. pestis EV76 in the presence of iron developed a systemic and pneumonic plague infection that resulted in disease and lethality. Bacteria replicated and severely compromised the spleen, liver and lungs. Susceptibility was age dependent, with younger mice being more vulnerable to pneumonic infection. We used these models of infection to assess the protective capacity of newly developed Salmonella-based plague vaccines. The protective outcome varied depending on the route and dose of infection. Protection was associated with the induction of specific immunological effectors in systemic/mucosal compartments. The models of infection described could serve as safe and practical tools for identifying promising vaccine candidates that warrant further potency evaluation using fully virulent strains in BSL-3 settings.

  15. [The Justinian plague (part two). Influence of the epidemic on the rise of the Islamic Empire].

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, Sergio; Manfredi, Roberto; Fiorino, Sirio

    2012-09-01

    The Islamic Empire started its tumultuous and rapid expansion from the year 622 A.D. (the year of Mohammed's Egira). This rapid growth coincided with the epidemic spread of the bubonic plague in the Middle East. Although a first epidemic event had been documented in the year 570 A.D. (pre-Islamic phase), in the Arabic peninsula, classically according to M.W. Dols five severe episodes of plague sub-epidemics are considered in the middle-eastern geographic area: the first occurred in 627 and 628 A.D., the fifth in 716 A.D.. Anyway, we may state that at the onset of Islam the geographic region including Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, and Iran was involved by endemic plague. In their work, on the ground of a literature review, the Authors describe the characteristics of the epidemic phenomenon, and analyze the how the plague affected the interpretation of Prophet's Koran and Hadits. The passive attitude demonstrated by many Muslims during early Islam was not shared by all believers, since others moved towards a more soft approach, which included the behaviour of the so called moving aside , when the contagion was of concern. The epidemic plague significantly contributed to the weakening of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the rapid decline of the Persian Empire, while during the early expansion phases of Islam, it indirectly favoured the nomadic Arab tribes which, moving on desert or semi-desert territories, succeeded in escaping the contagion more easily. Subsequently, when the Arab population became sedentary, after occupying the conquered cities, this initial advantage was significantly reduced.

  16. [The Justinian plague (part two). Influence of the epidemic on the rise of the Islamic Empire].

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, Sergio; Manfredi, Roberto; Fiorino, Sirio

    2012-09-01

    The Islamic Empire started its tumultuous and rapid expansion from the year 622 A.D. (the year of Mohammed's Egira). This rapid growth coincided with the epidemic spread of the bubonic plague in the Middle East. Although a first epidemic event had been documented in the year 570 A.D. (pre-Islamic phase), in the Arabic peninsula, classically according to M.W. Dols five severe episodes of plague sub-epidemics are considered in the middle-eastern geographic area: the first occurred in 627 and 628 A.D., the fifth in 716 A.D.. Anyway, we may state that at the onset of Islam the geographic region including Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, and Iran was involved by endemic plague. In their work, on the ground of a literature review, the Authors describe the characteristics of the epidemic phenomenon, and analyze the how the plague affected the interpretation of Prophet's Koran and Hadits. The passive attitude demonstrated by many Muslims during early Islam was not shared by all believers, since others moved towards a more soft approach, which included the behaviour of the so called moving aside , when the contagion was of concern. The epidemic plague significantly contributed to the weakening of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the rapid decline of the Persian Empire, while during the early expansion phases of Islam, it indirectly favoured the nomadic Arab tribes which, moving on desert or semi-desert territories, succeeded in escaping the contagion more easily. Subsequently, when the Arab population became sedentary, after occupying the conquered cities, this initial advantage was significantly reduced. PMID:22992565

  17. Characterization of systemic and pneumonic murine models of plague infection using a conditionally virulent strain.

    PubMed

    Mellado-Sanchez, Gabriela; Ramirez, Karina; Drachenberg, Cinthia B; Diaz-McNair, Jovita; Rodriguez, Ana L; Galen, James E; Nataro, James P; Pasetti, Marcela F

    2013-03-01

    Yersinia pestis causes bubonic and pneumonic plague in humans. The pneumonic infection is the most severe and invariably fatal if untreated. Because of its high virulence, ease of delivery and precedent of use in warfare, Y. pestis is considered as a potential bioterror agent. No licensed plague vaccine is currently available in the US. Laboratory research with virulent strains requires appropriate biocontainment (i.e., Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) for procedures that generate aerosol/droplets) and secure facilities that comply with federal select agent regulations. To assist in the identification of promising vaccine candidates during the early phases of development, we characterized mouse models of systemic and pneumonic plague infection using the Y. pestis strain EV76, an attenuated human vaccine strain that can be rendered virulent in mice under in vivo iron supplementation. Mice inoculated intranasally or intravenously with Y. pestis EV76 in the presence of iron developed a systemic and pneumonic plague infection that resulted in disease and lethality. Bacteria replicated and severely compromised the spleen, liver and lungs. Susceptibility was age dependent, with younger mice being more vulnerable to pneumonic infection. We used these models of infection to assess the protective capacity of newly developed Salmonella-based plague vaccines. The protective outcome varied depending on the route and dose of infection. Protection was associated with the induction of specific immunological effectors in systemic/mucosal compartments. The models of infection described could serve as safe and practical tools for identifying promising vaccine candidates that warrant further potency evaluation using fully virulent strains in BSL-3 settings. PMID:23195858

  18. [Epidemics in the news in Portugal: cholera, plague, typhus, influenza and smallpox, 1854-1918].

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Maria Antónia Pires

    2014-01-01

    In severe health crisis like those of 1854-1856, 1899 and 1918, especially in Porto, where cholera morbus, the bubonic plague, typhus fever, pneumonic influenza and smallpox killed high percentages of the population, the images of the epidemics in the press enable us to identify the scientific knowledge in a country considered peripheral, but which had studies and personnel specialized at the most advanced levels for the time. A database of 6,700 news items and announcements reveals the medical and pharmaceutical knowledge of the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the way it was transmitted and disclosed to the public and the solutions offered by the health authorities. Hygiene was consistently highlighted in the news and announcements.

  19. Plague in Central Java, Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    Williams, J. E.; Hudson, B. W.; Turner, R. W.; Saroso, J. Sulianti; Cavanaugh, D. C.

    1980-01-01

    Plague in man occurred from 1968 to 1970 in mountain villages of the Boyolali Regency in Central Java. Infected fleas, infected rats, and seropositive rats were collected in villages with human plague cases. Subsequent isolations of Yersinia pestis and seropositive rodents, detected during investigations of rodent plague undertaken by the Government of Indonesia and the WHO, attested to the persistence of plague in the region from 1972 to 1974. Since 1968, the incidence of both rodent and human plague has been greatest from December to May at elevations over 1000 m. Isolations of Y. pestis were obtained from the fleas Xenopsylla cheopis and Stivalius cognatus and the rats Rattus rattus diardii and R. exulans ephippium. The major risk to man has been fleas infected with Y. pestis of unique electrophoretic phenotype. Infected fleas were collected most often in houses. Introduced in 1920, rodent plague had persisted in the Boyolali Regency for at least 54 years. The recent data support specific requirements for continued plague surveillance. ImagesFig. 2 PMID:6968252

  20. Evaluation of Psn, HmuR and a modified LcrV protein delivered to mice by live attenuated Salmonella as a vaccine against bubonic and pneumonic Yersinia pestis challenge.

    PubMed

    Branger, Christine G; Sun, Wei; Torres-Escobar, Ascención; Perry, Robert; Roland, Kenneth L; Fetherston, Jacqueline; Curtiss, Roy

    2010-12-16

    We evaluated the ability of Yersinia pestis antigens HmuR, Psn and modified forms of LcrV delivered by live attenuated Salmonella strains to stimulate a protective immune response against subcutaneous or intranasal challenge with Y. pestis CO92. LcrV196 is a previously described truncated protein that includes aa 131-326 of LcrV and LcrV5214 has been modified to replace five key amino acids required for interaction with the TLR2 receptor. Psn is the outer membrane receptor for the siderophore, yersiniabactin, and the bacteriocin, pesticin. Mice immunized with Salmonella synthesizing Psn, LcrV196 or LcrV5214 developed serum IgG responses to the respective Yersinia antigen and were protected against pneumonic challenge with Y. pestis. Immunization with Salmonella synthesizing Psn or LcrV196 was sufficient to afford nearly full protection against bubonic challenge, while immunization with the strain synthesizing LcrV5214 was not protective. Immunization with Salmonella synthesizing HmuR, an outer membrane protein involved in heme acquisition in Y. pestis, was poorly immunogenic and did not elicit a protective response against either challenge route. These findings indicate that both Psn and LcrV196 delivered by Salmonella provide protection against both bubonic and pneumonic plague.

  1. Plague outbreak in Libya, 2009, unrelated to plague in Algeria.

    PubMed

    Cabanel, Nicolas; Leclercq, Alexandre; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Annajar, Badereddin; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Bekkhoucha, Souad; Bertherat, Eric; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2013-02-01

    After 25 years of no cases of plague, this disease recurred near Tobruk, Libya, in 2009. An epidemiologic investigation identified 5 confirmed cases. We determined ribotypes, Not1 restriction profiles, and IS100 and IS1541 hybridization patterns of strains isolated during this outbreak. We also analyzed strains isolated during the 2003 plague epidemic in Algeria to determine whether there were epidemiologic links between the 2 events. Our results demonstrate unambiguously that neighboring but independent plague foci coexist in Algeria and Libya. They also indicate that these outbreaks were most likely caused by reactivation of organisms in local or regional foci believed to be dormant (Libya) or extinct (Algeria) for decades, rather than by recent importation of Yersinia pestis from distant foci. Environmental factors favorable for plague reemergence might exist in this area and lead to reactivation of organisms in other ancient foci.

  2. Depression Plagues Many with COPD

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159436.html Depression Plagues Many With COPD Studies found 1 in ... pulmonary disorder (COPD) may raise the risk of depression among patients with the incurable respiratory illness, two ...

  3. Plague and the Human Flea, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Leirs, Herwig; Makundi, Rhodes H.; Van Dongen, Stefan; Davis, Stephen; Neerinckx, Simon; Deckers, Jozef; Libois, Roland

    2007-01-01

    Domestic fleas were collected in 12 villages in the western Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. Of these, 7 are considered villages with high plague frequency, where human plague was recorded during at least 6 of the 17 plague seasons between 1986 and 2004. In the remaining 5 villages with low plague frequency, plague was either rare or unrecorded. Pulex irritans, known as the human flea, was the predominant flea species (72.4%) in houses. The density of P. irritans, but not of other domestic fleas, was significantly higher in villages with a higher plague frequency or incidence. Moreover, the P. irritans index was strongly positively correlated with plague frequency and with the logarithmically transformed plague incidence. These observations suggest that in Lushoto District human fleas may play a role in plague epidemiology. These findings are of immediate public health relevance because they provide an indicator that can be surveyed to assess the risk for plague. PMID:17553245

  4. The threatened plague.

    PubMed

    Epstein, P

    1997-01-01

    This article discusses changes in disease patterns affecting human health that may be related to environmental and social changes in the world. The World Health Report reveals that 30 new diseases emerged in the past 20 years. Old diseases are becoming resistant to new drugs. Infectious diseases that were in decline are spreading: diphtheria, whooping cough, and measles. Illnesses such as malaria, fevers, cholera, and rodent-borne viruses are becoming more frequent. Diseases that are transmitted by animals or water are related to environmental and social changes. Degraded environments are susceptible to the appearance of opportunistic species, such as weeds, rodents, insects, and microorganisms. Stable environments support the welfare of large predators and control opportunistic species. Owls, coyotes, and snakes eat rodents that carry Lyme disease ticks and a variety of viruses, plague, and bacteria. Reptiles, birds, spiders, ladybugs, bats, and fish consume larvae and mosquitoes that cause malaria and fevers. Habitat loss and fragmentation, monocultures, excessive use of toxic chemicals, climate change, and weather instability are widespread global changes that reduce the predator population. Small wilderness habitats favor pests. Monocultures reduce genetic diversity and increase vulnerability. Excessive use of pesticides harms birds and helpful insects. A sign of a failing ecosystem is the population explosion of pests and disequilibrium. The Environmental Distress Syndrome is characterized as: 1) emerging infectious diseases, 2) loss of biodiversity, 3) increased generalist species and decreased specialist species, 4) declines in specific specialists, such as pollinators responsible for preservation of flowering plants, and 5) increased coastal algal blooms. The impacts of disease mean considerable costs to humans, agriculture, and livestock. Loss of resources is also costly. PMID:12321043

  5. Plague, policy, saints and terrorists: a historical survey.

    PubMed

    Lippi, Donatella; Conti, Andrea A

    2002-05-01

    Plague is an infectious disease of humans and animals caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. During the Middle Ages millions of people in Europe died from plague, whose current mortality-if untreated-ranges from 50% to 90%. The plague has been a great protagonist in history because it has often been grimly present in the collective events of humans. Its plurisecular history, tied to the whole chain of ecological balance, has had a strong influence on the collective imagination on account of its sudden occurrence and unavoidable mortality. In the past, the passage from contagion to illness ended in death, as human remedies had no effect. The only way to conquer it was invoke the incorruptible spirit of a saint. Therefore, in the past, the major plague icons were saints to whom ordinary people attributed a fame for healing. More recently, many epidemic diseases have ceded place to biological weapons, and terrorists have become the modern icons of such a threatening reality. As a matter of fact, bioterrorism has become a great public health and infection control threat, and, among the number of potential biological agents, plague has assumed a key role.

  6. [The great plague of Athens 430 BC].

    PubMed

    Frøland, Anders

    2010-01-01

    The plague of Athens in 430-426 BC has puzzled scholars and doctors for generations as to the aetiology of this deadly disease that had profound influence on the outcome of the Great Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC). Like several thousand soldiers and civilians, Pericles succumbed to the plague in 429. The main opponent to Athens was Sparta. Sparta had a formidable land based army, whereas Athens dominated at sea. Pericles' strategy was to shelter the whole of Attica's population within the protecting walls of Athens and Piraeus and the long walls connecting the two cities, while the Spartans ravaged Attica during the summer months. The result was a tremendous overcrowding in the two cities. The number of inhabitants rose from 145,000 to more than half a million. Therefore optimal conditions for the outbreak of an epidemic of any contagious disease were present. The Athenian general and historian Thucydides (455-396 BC), though not a medical man himself, has provided us with a very clear and precise description of the disease, which he himself contracted but survived. A huge number of modern aetiologies has been proposed, but none has so far been able to match Thucydides' clinical picture in all details. Presumably the disease has changed so much during the past 2400 years as not to be recognisable any more or it has totally disappeared.

  7. Red Plague Control Plan (RPCP)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooke, Robert W.

    2010-01-01

    SCOPE: Prescribes the minimum requirements for the control of cuprous / cupric oxide corrosion (a.k.a. Red Plague) of silver-coated copper wire, cable, and harness assemblies. PURPOSE: Targeted for applications where exposure to assembly processes, environmental conditions, and contamination may promote the development of cuprous / cupric oxide corrosion (a.k.a. Red Plague) in silver-coated copper wire, cable, and harness assemblies. Does not exclude any alternate or contractor-proprietary documents or processes that meet or exceed the baseline of requirements established by this document. Use of alternate or contractor-proprietary documents or processes shall require review and prior approval of the procuring NASA activity.

  8. Zoonotic Focus of Plague, Algeria

    PubMed Central

    Bitam, Idir; Baziz, Belkacem; Rolain, Jean-Marc; Belkaid, Miloud

    2006-01-01

    After an outbreak of human plague, 95 Xenopsylla cheopis fleas from Algeria were tested for Yersinia pestis with PCR methods. Nine fleas were definitively confirmed to be infected with Y. pestis biovar orientalis. Our results demonstrate the persistence of a zoonotic focus of Y. pestis in Algeria. PMID:17326957

  9. Plague - Multiple Languages: MedlinePlus

    MedlinePlus

    ... Are Here: Home → Multiple Languages → All Health Topics → Plague URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/languages/plague.html Other topics A-Z A B C ... V W XYZ List of All Topics All Plague - Multiple Languages To use the sharing features on ...

  10. Contribution of land use to rodent flea load distribution in the plague endemic area of Lushoto District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Hieronimo, Proches; Kihupi, Nganga I; Kimaro, Didas N; Gulinck, Hubert; Mulungu, Loth S; Msanya, Balthazar M; Leirs, Herwig; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Fleas associated with different rodent species are considered as the major vectors of bubonic plague, which is still rampant in different parts of the world. The objective of this study was to investigate the contribution of land use to rodent flea load distribution at fine scale in the plague endemic area of north-eastern Tanzania. Data was collected in three case areas namely, Shume, Lukozi and Mwangoi, differing in plague incidence levels. Data collection was carried out during both wet and dry seasons of 2012. Analysis of Variance and Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) statistical methods were used to clarify the relationships between fleas and specific land use characteristics. There was a significant variation (P ≤ 0.05) of flea indices in different land use types. Fallow and natural forest had higher flea indices whereas plantation forest mono-crop and mixed annual crops had the lowest flea indices among the aggregated land use types. The influence of individual land use types on flea indices was variable with fallow having a positive effect and land tillage showing a negative effect. The results also demonstrated a seasonal effect, part of which can be attributed to different land use practices such as application of pesticides, or the presence of grass strips around fields. These findings suggest that land use factors have a major influence on rodent flea abundance which can be taken as a proxy for plague infection risk. The results further point to the need for a comprehensive package that includes land tillage and crop type considerations on one hand and the associated human activities on the other, in planning and implementation of plague control interventions. PMID:26867283

  11. Contribution of land use to rodent flea load distribution in the plague endemic area of Lushoto District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Hieronimo, Proches; Kihupi, Nganga I; Kimaro, Didas N; Gulinck, Hubert; Mulungu, Loth S; Msanya, Balthazar M; Leirs, Herwig; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Fleas associated with different rodent species are considered as the major vectors of bubonic plague, which is still rampant in different parts of the world. The objective of this study was to investigate the contribution of land use to rodent flea load distribution at fine scale in the plague endemic area of north-eastern Tanzania. Data was collected in three case areas namely, Shume, Lukozi and Mwangoi, differing in plague incidence levels. Data collection was carried out during both wet and dry seasons of 2012. Analysis of Variance and Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) statistical methods were used to clarify the relationships between fleas and specific land use characteristics. There was a significant variation (P ≤ 0.05) of flea indices in different land use types. Fallow and natural forest had higher flea indices whereas plantation forest mono-crop and mixed annual crops had the lowest flea indices among the aggregated land use types. The influence of individual land use types on flea indices was variable with fallow having a positive effect and land tillage showing a negative effect. The results also demonstrated a seasonal effect, part of which can be attributed to different land use practices such as application of pesticides, or the presence of grass strips around fields. These findings suggest that land use factors have a major influence on rodent flea abundance which can be taken as a proxy for plague infection risk. The results further point to the need for a comprehensive package that includes land tillage and crop type considerations on one hand and the associated human activities on the other, in planning and implementation of plague control interventions.

  12. Genome sequence of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague.

    PubMed

    Parkhill, J; Wren, B W; Thomson, N R; Titball, R W; Holden, M T; Prentice, M B; Sebaihia, M; James, K D; Churcher, C; Mungall, K L; Baker, S; Basham, D; Bentley, S D; Brooks, K; Cerdeño-Tárraga, A M; Chillingworth, T; Cronin, A; Davies, R M; Davis, P; Dougan, G; Feltwell, T; Hamlin, N; Holroyd, S; Jagels, K; Karlyshev, A V; Leather, S; Moule, S; Oyston, P C; Quail, M; Rutherford, K; Simmonds, M; Skelton, J; Stevens, K; Whitehead, S; Barrell, B G

    2001-10-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of the systemic invasive infectious disease classically referred to as plague, and has been responsible for three human pandemics: the Justinian plague (sixth to eighth centuries), the Black Death (fourteenth to nineteenth centuries) and modern plague (nineteenth century to the present day). The recent identification of strains resistant to multiple drugs and the potential use of Y. pestis as an agent of biological warfare mean that plague still poses a threat to human health. Here we report the complete genome sequence of Y. pestis strain CO92, consisting of a 4.65-megabase (Mb) chromosome and three plasmids of 96.2 kilobases (kb), 70.3 kb and 9.6 kb. The genome is unusually rich in insertion sequences and displays anomalies in GC base-composition bias, indicating frequent intragenomic recombination. Many genes seem to have been acquired from other bacteria and viruses (including adhesins, secretion systems and insecticidal toxins). The genome contains around 150 pseudogenes, many of which are remnants of a redundant enteropathogenic lifestyle. The evidence of ongoing genome fluidity, expansion and decay suggests Y. pestis is a pathogen that has undergone large-scale genetic flux and provides a unique insight into the ways in which new and highly virulent pathogens evolve.

  13. Are carnivores universally good sentinels of plague?

    PubMed

    Brinkerhoff, R Jory; Collinge, Sharon K; Bai, Ying; Ray, Chris

    2009-10-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a flea-borne disease that primarily affects rodents but has been detected in over 200 mammal species worldwide. Mammalian carnivores are routinely surveyed as sentinels of local plague activity, since they can present antibodies to Y. pestis infection but show few clinical signs. In Boulder County, Colorado, USA, plague epizootic events are episodic and occur in black-tailed prairie dogs. Enzootic hosts are unidentified as are plague foci. For three years, we systematically sampled carnivores in two distinct habitat types to determine whether carnivores may play a role in maintenance or transmission of Y. pestis and to identify habitats associated with increased plague prevalence. We sampled 83 individuals representing six carnivore species and found only two that had been exposed to Y. pestis. The low overall rate of plague exposure in carnivores suggests that plague may be ephemeral in this study system, and thus we cannot draw any conclusions regarding habitat-associated plague foci or temporal changes in plague activity. Plague epizootics involving prairie dogs were confirmed in this study system during two of the three years of this study, and we therefore suggest that the targeting carnivores to survey for plague may not be appropriate in all ecological systems.

  14. Immune defense against pneumonic plague

    PubMed Central

    Smiley, Stephen T.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Yersinia pestis is one of the world's most virulent human pathogens. Inhalation of this Gram-negative bacterium causes pneumonic plague, a rapidly progressing and usually fatal disease. Extensively antibiotic-resistant strains of Y. pestis exist and have significant potential for exploitation as agents of terrorism and biowarfare. Subunit vaccines comprised of the Y. pestis F1 and LcrV proteins are well-tolerated and immunogenic in humans but cannot be tested for efficacy, because pneumonic plague outbreaks are uncommon and intentional infection of humans is unethical. In animal models, F1/LcrV-based vaccines protect mice and cynomolgus macaques but have failed, thus far, to adequately protect African green monkeys. We lack an explanation for this inconsistent efficacy. We also lack reliable correlate assays for protective immunity. These deficiencies are hampering efforts to improve vaccine efficacy. Here, I review the immunology of pneumonic plague, focusing on evidence that humoral and cellular defense mechanisms collaborate to defend against pulmonary Y. pestis infection. PMID:18837787

  15. Plague and landscape resilience in premodern Iceland.

    PubMed

    Streeter, Richard; Dugmore, Andrew J; Vésteinsson, Orri

    2012-03-01

    In debates on societal collapse, Iceland occupies a position of precarious survival, defined by not becoming extinct, like Norse Greenland, but having endured, sometimes by the narrowest of margins. Classic decline narratives for late medieval to early modern Iceland stress compounding adversities, where climate, trade, political domination, unsustainable practices, and environmental degradation conspire with epidemics and volcanism to depress the Icelanders and turn the once-proud Vikings and Saga writers into one of Europe's poorest nations. A mainstay of this narrative is the impact of incidental setbacks such as plague and volcanism, which are seen to have compounded and exacerbated underlying structural problems. This research shows that this view is not correct. We present a study of landscape change that uses 15 precisely dated tephra layers spanning the whole 1,200-y period of human settlement in Iceland. These tephras have provided 2,625 horizons of known age within 200 stratigraphic sections to form a high-resolution spatial and temporal record of change. This finding shows short-term (50 y) declines in geomorphological activity after two major plagues in A.D. 15th century, variations that probably mirrored variations in the population. In the longer term, the geomorphological impact of climate changes from the 14th century on is delayed, and landscapes (as well as Icelandic society) exhibit resilience over decade to century timescales. This finding is not a simple consequence of depopulation but a reflection of how Icelandic society responded with a scaling back of their economy, conservation of core functionality, and entrenchment of the established order.

  16. Plague and landscape resilience in premodern Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Streeter, Richard; Dugmore, Andrew J.; Vésteinsson, Orri

    2012-01-01

    In debates on societal collapse, Iceland occupies a position of precarious survival, defined by not becoming extinct, like Norse Greenland, but having endured, sometimes by the narrowest of margins. Classic decline narratives for late medieval to early modern Iceland stress compounding adversities, where climate, trade, political domination, unsustainable practices, and environmental degradation conspire with epidemics and volcanism to depress the Icelanders and turn the once-proud Vikings and Saga writers into one of Europe's poorest nations. A mainstay of this narrative is the impact of incidental setbacks such as plague and volcanism, which are seen to have compounded and exacerbated underlying structural problems. This research shows that this view is not correct. We present a study of landscape change that uses 15 precisely dated tephra layers spanning the whole 1,200-y period of human settlement in Iceland. These tephras have provided 2,625 horizons of known age within 200 stratigraphic sections to form a high-resolution spatial and temporal record of change. This finding shows short-term (50 y) declines in geomorphological activity after two major plagues in A.D. 15th century, variations that probably mirrored variations in the population. In the longer term, the geomorphological impact of climate changes from the 14th century on is delayed, and landscapes (as well as Icelandic society) exhibit resilience over decade to century timescales. This finding is not a simple consequence of depopulation but a reflection of how Icelandic society responded with a scaling back of their economy, conservation of core functionality, and entrenchment of the established order. PMID:22371601

  17. Cethromycin-mediated protection against the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis in a rat model of infection and comparison with levofloxacin.

    PubMed

    Rosenzweig, Jason A; Brackman, Sheri M; Kirtley, Michelle L; Sha, Jian; Erova, Tatiana E; Yeager, Linsey A; Peterson, Johnny W; Xu, Ze-Qi; Chopra, Ashok K

    2011-11-01

    The Gram-negative plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, has historically been regarded as one of the deadliest pathogens known to mankind, having caused three major pandemics. After being transmitted by the bite of an infected flea arthropod vector, Y. pestis can cause three forms of human plague: bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic, with the latter two having very high mortality rates. With increased threats of bioterrorism, it is likely that a multidrug-resistant Y. pestis strain would be employed, and, as such, conventional antibiotics typically used to treat Y. pestis (e.g., streptomycin, tetracycline, and gentamicin) would be ineffective. In this study, cethromycin (a ketolide antibiotic which inhibits bacterial protein synthesis and is currently in clinical trials for respiratory tract infections) was evaluated for antiplague activity in a rat model of pneumonic infection and compared with levofloxacin, which operates via inhibition of bacterial topoisomerase and DNA gyrase. Following a respiratory challenge of 24 to 30 times the 50% lethal dose of the highly virulent Y. pestis CO92 strain, 70 mg of cethromycin per kg of body weight (orally administered twice daily 24 h postinfection for a period of 7 days) provided complete protection to animals against mortality without any toxic effects. Further, no detectable plague bacilli were cultured from infected animals' blood and spleens following cethromycin treatment. The antibiotic was most effective when administered to rats 24 h postinfection, as the animals succumbed to infection if treatment was further delayed. All cethromycin-treated survivors tolerated 2 subsequent exposures to even higher lethal Y. pestis doses without further antibiotic treatment, which was related, in part, to the development of specific antibodies to the capsular and low-calcium-response V antigens of Y. pestis. These data demonstrate that cethromycin is a potent antiplague drug that can be used to treat pneumonic plague.

  18. Roles of chaperone/usher pathways of Yersinia pestis in a murine model of plague and adhesion to host cells.

    PubMed

    Hatkoff, Matthew; Runco, Lisa M; Pujol, Celine; Jayatilaka, Indralatha; Furie, Martha B; Bliska, James B; Thanassi, David G

    2012-10-01

    Yersinia pestis and many other Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria use the chaperone/usher (CU) pathway to assemble virulence-associated surface fibers termed pili or fimbriae. Y. pestis has two well-characterized CU pathways: the caf genes coding for the F1 capsule and the psa genes coding for the pH 6 antigen. The Y. pestis genome contains additional CU pathways that are capable of assembling pilus fibers, but the roles of these pathways in the pathogenesis of plague are not understood. We constructed deletion mutations in the usher genes for six of the additional Y. pestis CU pathways. The wild-type (WT) and usher deletion strains were compared in the murine bubonic (subcutaneous) and pneumonic (intranasal) plague infection models. Y. pestis strains containing deletions in CU pathways y0348-0352, y1858-1862, and y1869-1873 were attenuated for virulence compared to the WT strain by the intranasal, but not subcutaneous, routes of infection, suggesting specific roles for these pathways during pneumonic plague. We examined binding of the Y. pestis WT and usher deletion strains to A549 human lung epithelial cells, HEp-2 human cervical epithelial cells, and primary human and murine macrophages. Y. pestis CU pathways y0348-0352 and y1858-1862 were found to contribute to adhesion to all host cells tested, whereas pathway y1869-1873 was specific for binding to macrophages. The correlation between the virulence attenuation and host cell binding phenotypes of the usher deletion mutants identifies three of the additional CU pathways of Y. pestis as mediating interactions with host cells that are important for the pathogenesis of plague.

  19. Human Plague - United States, 2015.

    PubMed

    Kwit, Natalie; Nelson, Christina; Kugeler, Kiersten; Petersen, Jeannine; Plante, Lydia; Yaglom, Hayley; Kramer, Vicki; Schwartz, Benjamin; House, Jennifer; Colton, Leah; Feldpausch, Amanda; Drenzek, Cherie; Baumbach, Joan; DiMenna, Mark; Fisher, Emily; Debess, Emilio; Buttke, Danielle; Weinburke, Matthew; Percy, Christopher; Schriefer, Martin; Gage, Ken; Mead, Paul

    2015-08-28

    Since April 1, 2015, a total of 11 cases of human plague have been reported in residents of six states: Arizona (two), California (one), Colorado (four), Georgia (one), New Mexico (two), and Oregon (one). The two cases in Georgia and California residents have been linked to exposures at or near Yosemite National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Nine of the 11 patients were male; median age was 52 years (range = 14-79 years). Three patients aged 16, 52, and 79 years died.

  20. Plague

    MedlinePlus

    ... spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. Credit: NIAID Biology & Genetics NIAID-supported investigators sequenced the genome of ... for this deadly pathogen. Read more about the biology and genetics of Yersinia pestis Vaccines NIAID is ...

  1. Plague

    MedlinePlus

    ... by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Rodents such as rats carry the disease. It is spread by their ... Rat control and watching for the disease in the wild rodent population are the main measures used ...

  2. [Resurgence of the plague in the Ikongo district of Madagascar in 1998. 1. Epidemiological aspects in the human population].

    PubMed

    Migliani, R; Ratsitorahina, M; Rahalison, L; Rakotoarivony, I; Duchemin, J B; Duplantier, J M; Rakotonomenjanahary, J; Chanteau, S

    2001-05-01

    Between the 20th October and the 18th November 1998, an outbreak of bubonic plague was declared in a hamlet in the Ikongo district of Madagascar. We conducted an epidemiological survey because of the re-emergence of the disease in this area (the last cases had been notified in 1965) and because of the low altitude compared to the classical Malagasy foci. The outbreak had been preceded by an important rat epizootics during September. A total of 21 cases were registered with an attack rate of 16.7% (21/126) and a lethality rate of 33% (7/21). The disease was more prevalent in males (66% of cases) and children aged < 15 years, as observed in general throughout the country. The anti-F1 seroprevalence among the contact population was 13.5% (13/96), probably attributable to subclinical infection by Yersinia pestis. No rodent was trapped during the survey, but an endemic hedgehog (Tenrec ecaudatus) was highly seropositive, suggesting a recent transmission of the plague bacillus among this species. The small mammals and vectors possibly involved in these new foci were investigated in May 1999.

  3. Deletion of the Braun lipoprotein-encoding gene and altering the function of lipopolysaccharide attenuate the plague bacterium.

    PubMed

    Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Wang, Shaofei; Erova, Tatiana E; Kozlova, Elena V; Cao, Anthony; Cong, Yingzi; Fitts, Eric C; Rosenzweig, Jason A; Chopra, Ashok K

    2013-03-01

    Braun (murein) lipoprotein (Lpp) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) are major components of the outer membranes of Enterobacteriaceae family members that are capable of triggering inflammatory immune responses by activating Toll-like receptors 2 and 4, respectively. Expanding on earlier studies that demonstrated a role played by Lpp in Yersinia pestis virulence in mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic plague, we characterized an msbB in-frame deletion mutant incapable of producing an acyltransferase that is responsible for the addition of lauric acid to the lipid A moiety of LPS, as well as a Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant of the highly virulent Y. pestis CO92 strain. Although the ΔmsbB single mutant was minimally attenuated, the Δlpp single mutant and the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant were significantly more attenuated than the isogenic wild-type (WT) bacterium in bubonic and pneumonic animal models (mouse and rat) of plague. These data correlated with greatly reduced survivability of the aforementioned mutants in murine macrophages. Furthermore, the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant was grossly compromised in its ability to disseminate to distal organs in mice and in evoking cytokines/chemokines in infected animal tissues. Importantly, mice that survived challenge with the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant, but not the Δlpp or ΔmsbB single mutant, in a pneumonic plague model were significantly protected against a subsequent lethal WT CO92 rechallenge. These data were substantiated by the fact that the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant maintained an immunogenicity comparable to that of the WT strain and induced long-lasting T-cell responses against heat-killed WT CO92 antigens. Taken together, the data indicate that deletion of the msbB gene augmented the attenuation of the Δlpp mutant by crippling the spread of the double mutant to the peripheral organs of animals and by inducing cytokine/chemokine responses. Thus, the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant could provide a new live-attenuated background

  4. [Ecological-geographic landscapes of natural plague foci in China VIII. Typing of natural plague foci].

    PubMed

    Fang, Xi-ye; Liu, Qi-yong; Xu, Lei; Zhou, Dong-sheng; Cui, Yu-jun; Dong, Xing-qi; Zhang, Rong-zu; Gu, Shao-hua; Ye, Cai-de; Yang, Rui-fu

    2013-01-01

    Since plague is an important natural focus zoonosis, the typing of natural plague foci becomes one of the elements in understanding the nature and developing related prevention program of the disease. Natural foci of plague are composed by four fundamental parts which include Eco-geographical landscape (natural plague foci), hosts, vectors and pathogens (Yersinia pestis) that comprehensively interact through the large temporal scale of evolution. Human activities have had great impact on the foci of natural plague. Based on the published serial research papers, we tried to integrate the knowledge of each factor in natural plague foci and focusing on theoretical aspects, so as to strengthen the prevention and surveillance programs of plague to be extrapolated to other zoonosis.

  5. New records of sylvatic plague in Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F.; Carter, L.G.; Gage, K.L.

    2000-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, or plague of wild rodents is caused by Yersinia pestis and entered California (USA) from Asia about 1899. Extensive sampling during the 1930's and 1940's documented the spread of plague to approximately its current distribution in North America. Records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document plague in Kansas (USA) between 1945 and 1950, but since then there has been no documentation of plague in the state. Following a die-off of a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony on the Cimarron National Grassland, in the southwestern corner of Kansas (37??10???N, 101??45???W), we sampled fleas from burrows in June 1997, and tested them for Yersinia pestis. Twelve of 13 pools of Oropsyla hirsuta and one of two Pulex sp. were positive. A similar sample of fleas, from another colony where black-tailed prairie dogs were active at the time, yielded no positive fleas.

  6. Proteolytic processing of the Yersinia pestis YapG autotransporter by the omptin protease Pla and the contribution of YapG to murine plague pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lane, M. Chelsea; Lenz, Jonathan D.

    2013-01-01

    Autotransporter protein secretion represents one of the simplest forms of secretion across Gram-negative bacterial membranes. Once secreted, autotransporter proteins either remain tethered to the bacterial surface or are released following proteolytic cleavage. Autotransporters possess a diverse array of virulence-associated functions such as motility, cytotoxicity, adherence and autoaggregation. To better understand the role of autotransporters in disease, our research focused on the autotransporters of Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of plague. Y. pestis strain CO92 has nine functional conventional autotransporters, referred to as Yaps for Yersinia autotransporter proteins. Three Yaps have been directly implicated in virulence using established mouse models of plague infection (YapE, YapJ and YapK). Whilst previous studies from our laboratory have shown that most of the CO92 Yaps are cell associated, YapE and YapG are processed and released by the omptin protease Pla. In this study, we identified the Pla cleavage sites in YapG that result in many released forms of YapG in Y. pestis, but not in the evolutionarily related gastrointestinal pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which lacks Pla. Furthermore, we showed that YapG does not contribute to Y. pestis virulence in established mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic infection. As Y. pestis has a complex life cycle involving a wide range of mammalian hosts and a flea vector for transmission, it remains to be elucidated whether YapG has a measurable role in any other stage of plague disease. PMID:23657527

  7. Proteolytic processing of the Yersinia pestis YapG autotransporter by the omptin protease Pla and the contribution of YapG to murine plague pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lane, M Chelsea; Lenz, Jonathan D; Miller, Virginia L

    2013-08-01

    Autotransporter protein secretion represents one of the simplest forms of secretion across Gram-negative bacterial membranes. Once secreted, autotransporter proteins either remain tethered to the bacterial surface or are released following proteolytic cleavage. Autotransporters possess a diverse array of virulence-associated functions such as motility, cytotoxicity, adherence and autoaggregation. To better understand the role of autotransporters in disease, our research focused on the autotransporters of Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of plague. Y. pestis strain CO92 has nine functional conventional autotransporters, referred to as Yaps for Yersinia autotransporter proteins. Three Yaps have been directly implicated in virulence using established mouse models of plague infection (YapE, YapJ and YapK). Whilst previous studies from our laboratory have shown that most of the CO92 Yaps are cell associated, YapE and YapG are processed and released by the omptin protease Pla. In this study, we identified the Pla cleavage sites in YapG that result in many released forms of YapG in Y. pestis, but not in the evolutionarily related gastrointestinal pathogen, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, which lacks Pla. Furthermore, we showed that YapG does not contribute to Y. pestis virulence in established mouse models of bubonic and pneumonic infection. As Y. pestis has a complex life cycle involving a wide range of mammalian hosts and a flea vector for transmission, it remains to be elucidated whether YapG has a measurable role in any other stage of plague disease.

  8. Yersinia pestis requires the 2-component regulatory system OmpR-EnvZ to resist innate immunity during the early and late stages of plague.

    PubMed

    Reboul, Angéline; Lemaître, Nadine; Titecat, Marie; Merchez, Maud; Deloison, Gaspard; Ricard, Isabelle; Pradel, Elizabeth; Marceau, Michaël; Sebbane, Florent

    2014-11-01

    Plague is transmitted by fleas or contaminated aerosols. To successfully produce disease, the causal agent (Yersinia pestis) must rapidly sense and respond to rapid variations in its environment. Here, we investigated the role of 2-component regulatory systems (2CSs) in plague because the latter are known to be key players in bacterial adaptation to environmental change. Along with the previously studied PhoP-PhoQ system, OmpR-EnvZ was the only one of Y. pestis' 23 other 2CSs required for production of bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. In vitro, OmpR-EnvZ was needed to counter serum complement and leukocytes but was not required for the secretion of antiphagocyte exotoxins. In vivo, Y. pestis lacking OmpR-EnvZ did not induce an early immune response in the skin and was fully virulent in neutropenic mice. We conclude that, throughout the course of Y. pestis infection, OmpR-EnvZ is required to counter toxic effectors secreted by polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the tissues.

  9. Epidemiological studies of plague in India

    PubMed Central

    Seal, S. C.

    1960-01-01

    Plague is apparently receding from India, but whether this recession heralds its final disappearance from the subcontinent or is merely a phase in its secular trend or is perhaps due to the effect of control measures is a matter for consideration. On the correct assessment of the present position will depend the nature of the steps to be taken now or in the future. Among the factors considered in this assessment are the possible existence of endemic plague foci in India, the clinical forms of the disease encountered, the relative frequency and epidemiology of urban and rural plague, seasonal variations in prevalence, and the likelihood of resistance of fleas to insecticides. PMID:14444324

  10. Land use determinants of small mammal abundance and distribution in a plague endemic area of Lushoto District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Hieronimo, Proches; Kimaro, Didas N; Kihupi, Nganga I; Gulinck, Hubert; Mulungu, Loth S; Msanya, Balthazar M; Leirs, Herwig; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Small mammals are considered to be involved in the transmission cycle of bubonic plague, still occurring in different parts of the world, including the Lushoto District in Tanzania. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between land use types and practices and small mammal abundance and distribution. A field survey was used to collect data in three landscapes differing in plague incidences. Data collection was done both in the wet season (April-June 2012) and dry season (August-October 2012). Analysis of variance and Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) modelling technique were used to establish the relationship between land use and small mammal abundance and distribution. Significant variations (p ≤ 0.05) of small mammal abundance among land use types were identified. Plantation forest with farming, natural forest and fallow had higher populations of small mammals than the other aggregated land use types. The influence of individual land use types on small mammal abundance level showed that, in both dry and wet seasons, miraba and fallow tended to favour small mammals' habitation whereas land tillage practices had the opposite effect. In addition, during the wet season crop types such as potato and maize appeared to positively influence the distribution and abundance of small mammals which was attributed to both shelter and food availability. Based on the findings from this study it is recommended that future efforts to predict and map spatial and temporal human plague infection risk at fine scale should consider the role played by land use and associated human activities on small mammal abundance and distribution.

  11. Land use determinants of small mammal abundance and distribution in a plague endemic area of Lushoto District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Hieronimo, Proches; Kimaro, Didas N; Kihupi, Nganga I; Gulinck, Hubert; Mulungu, Loth S; Msanya, Balthazar M; Leirs, Herwig; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Small mammals are considered to be involved in the transmission cycle of bubonic plague, still occurring in different parts of the world, including the Lushoto District in Tanzania. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between land use types and practices and small mammal abundance and distribution. A field survey was used to collect data in three landscapes differing in plague incidences. Data collection was done both in the wet season (April-June 2012) and dry season (August-October 2012). Analysis of variance and Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) modelling technique were used to establish the relationship between land use and small mammal abundance and distribution. Significant variations (p ≤ 0.05) of small mammal abundance among land use types were identified. Plantation forest with farming, natural forest and fallow had higher populations of small mammals than the other aggregated land use types. The influence of individual land use types on small mammal abundance level showed that, in both dry and wet seasons, miraba and fallow tended to favour small mammals' habitation whereas land tillage practices had the opposite effect. In addition, during the wet season crop types such as potato and maize appeared to positively influence the distribution and abundance of small mammals which was attributed to both shelter and food availability. Based on the findings from this study it is recommended that future efforts to predict and map spatial and temporal human plague infection risk at fine scale should consider the role played by land use and associated human activities on small mammal abundance and distribution. PMID:26867281

  12. Pneumonic plague outbreak, Northern Madagascar, 2011.

    PubMed

    Richard, Vincent; Riehm, Julia M; Herindrainy, Perlinot; Soanandrasana, Rahelinirina; Ratsitoharina, Maherisoa; Rakotomanana, Fanjasoa; Andrianalimanana, Samuel; Scholz, Holger C; Rajerison, Minoarisoa

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is endemic to Madagascar, particularly to the central highlands. Although plague has not been previously reported in northern Madagascar, an outbreak of pneumonic plague occurred in this remote area in 2011. Over a 27-day period, 17 suspected, 2 presumptive, and 3 confirmed human cases were identified, and all 15 untreated 20 patients died. Molecular typing of Y. pestis isolated from 2 survivors and 5 Rattus rattus rat samples identified the Madagascar-specific 1.ORI3-k single-nucleotide polymorphism genotype and 4 clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat patterns. This outbreak had a case-fatality rate of 100% for nontreated patients. The Y. pestis 1.ORI3-k single-nucleotide polymorphism genotype might cause larger epidemics. Multidrug-resistant strains and persistence of the pathogen in natural foci near human settlements pose severe risks to populations in plague-endemic regions and require outbreak response strategies.

  13. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Plague

    MedlinePlus

    ... as a bioweapon? Yersinia pestis used in an aerosol attack could cause cases of the pneumonic form ... Y. pestis particles, which could happen in an aerosol release during a bioterrorism attack. Pneumonic plague is ...

  14. Human Plague Risk: Spatial-Temporal Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pinzon, Jorge E.

    2010-01-01

    This chpater reviews the use of spatial-temporal models in identifying potential risks of plague outbreaks into the human population. Using earth observations by satellites remote sensing there has been a systematic analysis and mapping of the close coupling between the vectors of the disease and climate variability. The overall result is that incidence of plague is correlated to positive El Nino/Southem Oscillation (ENSO).

  15. A case report of fowl plague keratoconjunctivitis.

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, H R; Turner, A J

    1977-01-01

    A case of human fowl plague keratoconjunctivitis occurred after accidental laboratory exposure. The conjunctivitis was characterised by follicle formation and a mucopurulent discharge, and ran a self-limiting course over two weeks. The keratitis was of an unusual type and consisted of small intraepithelial opacities, which appeared after one week and resolved completely over the next three weeks. The infection, confirmed by viral culture, was produced by Dutch strain (Hav 1 Neq 1) of fowl plague virus. Images PMID:843515

  16. The natural history and incidence of Yersinia pestis and prospects for vaccination.

    PubMed

    Williamson, E D; Oyston, P C F

    2012-07-01

    Plague is an ancient, serious, infectious disease which is still endemic in regions of the modern world and is a potential biothreat agent. This paper discusses the natural history of the bacterium and its evolution into a flea-vectored bacterium able to transmit bubonic plague. It reviews the incidence of plague in the modern world and charts the history of vaccines which have been used to protect against the flea-vectored disease, which erupts as bubonic plague. Current approaches to vaccine development to protect against pneumonic, as well as bubonic, plague are also reviewed. The considerable challenges in achieving a vaccine which is licensed for human use and which will comprehensively protect against this serious human pathogen are assessed.

  17. Mountain plover responses to plague in Montana.

    PubMed

    Dinsmore, Stephen J; Smith, Mark D

    2010-01-01

    Plague is a bacterial (Yersinia pestis) disease that causes epizootic die-offs in black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) populations in the North American Great Plains. Through their grazing and burrowing, prairie dogs modify vegetation and landscape structure on their colonies in ways that affect other grassland species. Plague epizootics on prairie dog colonies can have indirect effects on species associated with colonies. The mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) preferentially nests on black-tailed prairie dog colonies and is thus negatively impacted by the loss of prairie dogs. We studied the effects of plague and colony spatial characteristics on the occupancy of 81 prairie dog colonies by nesting plovers in Phillips County, Montana, during a 13-year period (1995-2007). We used a robust design patch occupancy model to investigate how colony occupancy and extinction and colonization rates were affected by plague history, colony size, and colony shape. Here extinction and colonization rates refer to the probability that a colony loses/gains plovers in a subsequent nesting season, given that it had/lacked plovers in that breeding season. Colony occupancy was best explained by a model with no annual variation or plague effects. Colony extinction rates were driven by a combination of a quadratic of colony area, a 3-year plague response, and a measure of colony shape. Conversely, colonization rates were best explained by a model with a 4-year plague response. The estimated annual proportion of colonies occupied by plovers was 0.75 (95% confidence interval = 0.57-0.87). Estimated extinction probability ranged from a low of 0.07 (standard error [SE] = 0.02) in 2002 to a high of 0.25 (SE = 0.03) in 1995; colonization probability ranged from 0.24 (SE = 0.05) in 2006 to 0.35 (SE = 0.05) in 2000. Our results highlight how a bird that depends on prairie dogs for nesting habitat responds to plague history and other spatial characteristics of the colony. Ultimately

  18. Burrowing Owls, Pulex irritans, and Plague.

    PubMed

    Belthoff, James R; Bernhardt, Scott A; Ball, Christopher L; Gregg, Michael; Johnson, David H; Ketterling, Rachel; Price, Emily; Tinker, Juliette K

    2015-09-01

    Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are small, ground-dwelling owls of western North America that frequent prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) towns and other grasslands. Because they rely on rodent prey and occupy burrows once or concurrently inhabited by fossorial mammals, the owls often harbor fleas. We examined the potential role of fleas found on burrowing owls in plague dynamics by evaluating prevalence of Yersinia pestis in fleas collected from burrowing owls and in owl blood. During 2012-2013, fleas and blood were collected from burrowing owls in portions of five states with endemic plague-Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and South Dakota. Fleas were enumerated, taxonomically identified, pooled by nest, and assayed for Y. pestis using culturing and molecular (PCR) approaches. Owl blood underwent serological analysis for plague antibodies and nested PCR for detection of Y. pestis. Of more than 4750 fleas collected from owls, Pulex irritans, a known plague vector in portions of its range, comprised more than 99.4%. However, diagnostic tests for Y. pestis of flea pools (culturing and PCR) and owl blood (PCR and serology) were negative. Thus, even though fleas were prevalent on burrowing owls and the potential for a relationship with burrowing owls as a phoretic host of infected fleas exists, we found no evidence of Y. pestis in sampled fleas or in owls that harbored them. We suggest that studies similar to those reported here during plague epizootics will be especially useful for confirming these results. PMID:26367482

  19. Burrowing Owls, Pulex irritans, and Plague.

    PubMed

    Belthoff, James R; Bernhardt, Scott A; Ball, Christopher L; Gregg, Michael; Johnson, David H; Ketterling, Rachel; Price, Emily; Tinker, Juliette K

    2015-09-01

    Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are small, ground-dwelling owls of western North America that frequent prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) towns and other grasslands. Because they rely on rodent prey and occupy burrows once or concurrently inhabited by fossorial mammals, the owls often harbor fleas. We examined the potential role of fleas found on burrowing owls in plague dynamics by evaluating prevalence of Yersinia pestis in fleas collected from burrowing owls and in owl blood. During 2012-2013, fleas and blood were collected from burrowing owls in portions of five states with endemic plague-Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and South Dakota. Fleas were enumerated, taxonomically identified, pooled by nest, and assayed for Y. pestis using culturing and molecular (PCR) approaches. Owl blood underwent serological analysis for plague antibodies and nested PCR for detection of Y. pestis. Of more than 4750 fleas collected from owls, Pulex irritans, a known plague vector in portions of its range, comprised more than 99.4%. However, diagnostic tests for Y. pestis of flea pools (culturing and PCR) and owl blood (PCR and serology) were negative. Thus, even though fleas were prevalent on burrowing owls and the potential for a relationship with burrowing owls as a phoretic host of infected fleas exists, we found no evidence of Y. pestis in sampled fleas or in owls that harbored them. We suggest that studies similar to those reported here during plague epizootics will be especially useful for confirming these results.

  20. Microevolution and history of the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Achtman, Mark; Morelli, Giovanna; Zhu, Peixuan; Wirth, Thierry; Diehl, Ines; Kusecek, Barica; Vogler, Amy J.; Wagner, David M.; Allender, Christopher J.; Easterday, W. Ryan; Chenal-Francisque, Viviane; Worsham, Patricia; Thomson, Nicholas R.; Parkhill, Julian; Lindler, Luther E.; Carniel, Elisabeth; Keim, Paul

    2004-01-01

    The association of historical plague pandemics with Yersinia pestis remains controversial, partly because the evolutionary history of this largely monomorphic bacterium was unknown. The microevolution of Y. pestis was therefore investigated by three different multilocus molecular methods, targeting genomewide synonymous SNPs, variation in number of tandem repeats, and insertion of IS100 insertion elements. Eight populations were recognized by the three methods, and we propose an evolutionary tree for these populations, rooted on Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. The tree invokes microevolution over millennia, during which enzootic pestoides isolates evolved. This initial phase was followed by a binary split 6,500 years ago, which led to populations that are more frequently associated with human disease. These populations do not correspond directly to classical biovars that are based on phenotypic properties. Thus, we recommend that henceforth groupings should be based on molecular signatures. The age of Y. pestis inferred here is compatible with the dates of historical pandemic plague. However, it is premature to infer an association between any modern molecular grouping and a particular pandemic wave that occurred before the 20th century. PMID:15598742

  1. A review of plague persistence with special emphasis on fleas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wimsatt, Jeffrey; Biggins, Dean E.

    2009-01-01

    Here, we note a potentially pivotal role for fleas. These epizootic plague vectors should be closely studied with newer more exacting methods to determine their potential to serve as participants in or accomplices to a plague persistence reservoir.

  2. Yersinia pestis with regulated delayed attenuation as a vaccine candidate to induce protective immunity against plague.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wei; Roland, Kenneth L; Kuang, Xiaoying; Branger, Christine G; Curtiss, Roy

    2010-03-01

    Two mutant strains of Yersinia pestis KIM5+, a Deltacrp mutant and a mutant with arabinose-dependent regulated delayed-shutoff crp expression (araC P(BAD) crp), were constructed, characterized in vitro, and evaluated for virulence, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy in mice. Both strains were highly attenuated by the subcutaneous (s.c.) route. The 50% lethal doses (LD(50)s) of the Deltacrp and araC P(BAD) crp mutants were approximately 1,000,000-fold and 10,000-fold higher than those of Y. pestis KIM5+, respectively, indicating that both strains were highly attenuated. Mice vaccinated s.c. with 3.8 x 10(7) CFU of the Deltacrp mutant developed high anti-Y. pestis and anti-LcrV serum IgG titers, both with a strong Th2 bias, and induced protective immunity against subcutaneous challenge with virulent Y. pestis (80% survival) but no protection against pulmonary challenge. Mice vaccinated with 3.0 x 10(4) CFU of the araC P(BAD) crp mutant also developed high anti-Y. pestis and anti-LcrV serum IgG titers but with a more balanced Th1/Th2 response. This strain induced complete protection against s.c. challenge and partial protection (70% survival) against pulmonary challenge. Our results demonstrate that arabinose-dependent regulated crp expression is an effective strategy to attenuate Y. pestis while retaining strong immunogenicity, leading to protection against the pneumonic and bubonic forms of plague.

  3. Saving Resources with Plagues in Genetic Algorithms

    SciTech Connect

    de Vega, F F; Cantu-Paz, E; Lopez, J I; Manzano, T

    2004-06-15

    The population size of genetic algorithms (GAs) affects the quality of the solutions and the time required to find them. While progress has been made in estimating the population sizes required to reach a desired solution quality for certain problems, in practice the sizing of populations is still usually performed by trial and error. These trials might lead to find a population that is large enough to reach a satisfactory solution, but there may still be opportunities to optimize the computational cost by reducing the size of the population. This paper presents a technique called plague that periodically removes a number of individuals from the population as the GA executes. Recently, the usefulness of the plague has been demonstrated for genetic programming. The objective of this paper is to extend the study of plagues to genetic algorithms. We experiment with deceptive trap functions, a tunable difficult problem for GAs, and the experiments show that plagues can save computational time while maintaining solution quality and reliability.

  4. [The plague in Finland in 1710].

    PubMed

    Engström, N G

    1994-01-01

    In the autumn of 1710 Helsinki was struck by the so-called oriental plague during four months. The infection was transferred by black rats which harboured fleas. The flea-bites caused boils. It was believed that the plague was air-borne, and the air was very humid that autumn. Big fires were lit in order to reduce the humidity, the purpose being to make it easier for the infected to breathe. Attempts were also made to dissect the boils. The carriers of the contamination came as refugees from Estland over the Gulf of Finland. The infection had spread from Turkey to Poland and Balticum after the defeat of the Finnish-Swedish army in the summer of 1709 at Poltava in Ucraine. Helsingfors (Helsinki) was struck extremely hard. About two-thirds of the inhabitants died of the pestilence. Some escaped by fleeing to the countryside. The plague spread through the country as far north as to Uleåborg (Oulu) and Cajana (Kajaani). Marketplaces became important centres of infection. With the advent of the frost in December the plague dwindled. At that time Helsinki was practically a dead town. PMID:11640321

  5. Wild felids as hosts for human plague, Western United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bevins, S.N.; Tracey, J.A.; Franklin, S.P.; Schmit, V.L.; MacMillan, M.L.; Gage, K.L.; Schriefer, M.E.; Logan, K.A.; Sweanor, L.L.; Alldredge, M.W.; Krumm, C.; Boyce, W.M.; Vickers, W.; Riley, S.P.D.; Lyren, L.M.; Boydston, E.E.; Fisher, R.N.; Roelke, M.E.; Salman, M.; Crooks, K.R.; VandeWoude, S.

    2009-01-01

    Plague seroprevalence was estimated in populations pumas and bobcats in the western United States. High levels of exposure in plague-endemic regions indicate the need to consider the ecology and pathobiology of plague nondomestic felid hosts to better understand the role of these species in disease persistence and transmission.

  6. [The people's mentality confronting plague in the Ming Dynasty].

    PubMed

    Chen, Xu

    2013-03-01

    The social influence of plague was not only confined to its pathogenicity, but also its close relationship with the people's mentality. According to the historical materials of the Ming Dynasty, there were 2 kinds of mentalities when confronting with the prevalence of plague: negative and positive. The former included fear, helplessness, depression and superstition etc., and the latter included intelligence, consolation, thanksgiving and vigour etc. The negative passive mentality didn't help to fight effectively against the plague, or might even aggravate its prevalence. However, the positive mentality helped ameliorate and control the plague, and also the rehabilitation of the order of production and living order after the plague.

  7. Detection of enzootic plague foci in peninsular India.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Shyamal; Lal, Sohan; Mittal, Veena; Malini, M; Kumar, Shiv

    2011-09-01

    A continuous serological and bacteriological surveillance in rodents was carried out in peninsular India i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to detect the role of different species of rodents in the maintenance of active enzootic plague foci. Live rodents were collected from wild and ruderal/peri-domestic situations by digging and trapping for sera and organ samples. During 1989 to 2007 serological evidence of plague was detected in different species of rodents in peninsular India. Plague antibodies were detected in 243 sera samples in three different rodent species. Sero-positivity (0.042 percent) amongst rodents tested were found in Tatera indica cuvieri (Hardwicke) followed by Rattus rattus and Bandicota bengalensis. Regular plague surveillance work enhanced the possibility of detecting and delimiting plague foci and helped in implementing necessary preventive anti plague measures to prevent the occurrence of human plague.

  8. Thinking extreme social violence: the model of the literary plague.

    PubMed

    Priel, Beatriz

    2007-12-01

    The author uses literary plagues as a model for thinking psychoanalytically about the basic anxieties activated among perpetrators of sanctioned massacres. The model of the plague allows abstracting an underlying primitive psychological organization characterized by syncretism and a powerful anxiety of de-differentiation and confusion, leading characteristically to imitative behavior within the in-group as well as to the disavowal of the out-group members similarities to oneself, i.e. the disavowal of the other's humanity. Recognizing the historical and social foundations of discrimination and genocide, the author analyzes the interaction between group and individual processes that allow ordinary people to join daily acts of immoral violence. She dramatizes the model of the plague through a psychoanalytic reading of three literary plagues: Thebes' plague according to Sophocles, Camus's chronicle of the plague in Oran, and Saramago's meditation on the plague of white blindness.

  9. Pneumonic Plague: The Darker Side of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Pechous, Roger D; Sivaraman, Vijay; Stasulli, Nikolas M; Goldman, William E

    2016-03-01

    Inhalation of the bacterium Yersinia pestis results in primary pneumonic plague. Pneumonic plague is the most severe manifestation of plague, with mortality rates approaching 100% in the absence of treatment. Its rapid disease progression, lethality, and ability to be transmitted via aerosol have compounded fears of the intentional release of Y. pestis as a biological weapon. Importantly, recent epidemics of plague have highlighted a significant role for pneumonic plague during outbreaks of Y. pestis infections. In this review we describe the characteristics of pneumonic plague, focusing on its disease progression and pathogenesis. The rapid time-course, severity, and difficulty of treating pneumonic plague highlight how differences in the route of disease transmission can enhance the lethality of an already deadly pathogen.

  10. Thinking extreme social violence: the model of the literary plague.

    PubMed

    Priel, Beatriz

    2007-12-01

    The author uses literary plagues as a model for thinking psychoanalytically about the basic anxieties activated among perpetrators of sanctioned massacres. The model of the plague allows abstracting an underlying primitive psychological organization characterized by syncretism and a powerful anxiety of de-differentiation and confusion, leading characteristically to imitative behavior within the in-group as well as to the disavowal of the out-group members similarities to oneself, i.e. the disavowal of the other's humanity. Recognizing the historical and social foundations of discrimination and genocide, the author analyzes the interaction between group and individual processes that allow ordinary people to join daily acts of immoral violence. She dramatizes the model of the plague through a psychoanalytic reading of three literary plagues: Thebes' plague according to Sophocles, Camus's chronicle of the plague in Oran, and Saramago's meditation on the plague of white blindness. PMID:18055377

  11. A Replication-Defective Human Type 5 Adenovirus-Based Trivalent Vaccine Confers Complete Protection against Plague in Mice and Nonhuman Primates.

    PubMed

    Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; Klages, Curtis; Erova, Tatiana E; Telepnev, Maxim; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Fitts, Eric C; Baze, Wallace B; Sivasubramani, Satheesh K; Lawrence, William S; Patrikeev, Igor; Peel, Jennifer E; Andersson, Jourdan A; Kozlova, Elena V; Tiner, Bethany L; Peterson, Johnny W; McWilliams, David; Patel, Snehal; Rothe, Eric; Motin, Vladimir L; Chopra, Ashok K

    2016-07-01

    Currently, no plague vaccine exists in the United States for human use. The capsular antigen (Caf1 or F1) and two type 3 secretion system (T3SS) components, the low-calcium-response V antigen (LcrV) and the needle protein YscF, represent protective antigens of Yersinia pestis We used a replication-defective human type 5 adenovirus (Ad5) vector and constructed recombinant monovalent and trivalent vaccines (rAd5-LcrV and rAd5-YFV) that expressed either the codon-optimized lcrV or the fusion gene designated YFV (consisting of ycsF, caf1, and lcrV). Immunization of mice with the trivalent rAd5-YFV vaccine by either the intramuscular (i.m.) or the intranasal (i.n.) route provided protection superior to that with the monovalent rAd5-LcrV vaccine against bubonic and pneumonic plague when animals were challenged with Y. pestis CO92. Preexisting adenoviral immunity did not diminish the protective response, and the protection was always higher when mice were administered one i.n. dose of the trivalent vaccine (priming) followed by a single i.m. booster dose of the purified YFV antigen. Immunization of cynomolgus macaques with the trivalent rAd5-YFV vaccine by the prime-boost strategy provided 100% protection against a stringent aerosol challenge dose of CO92 to animals that had preexisting adenoviral immunity. The vaccinated and challenged macaques had no signs of disease, and the invading pathogen rapidly cleared with no histopathological lesions. This is the first report showing the efficacy of an adenovirus-vectored trivalent vaccine against pneumonic plague in mouse and nonhuman primate (NHP) models. PMID:27170642

  12. A Replication-Defective Human Type 5 Adenovirus-Based Trivalent Vaccine Confers Complete Protection against Plague in Mice and Nonhuman Primates.

    PubMed

    Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; Klages, Curtis; Erova, Tatiana E; Telepnev, Maxim; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Fitts, Eric C; Baze, Wallace B; Sivasubramani, Satheesh K; Lawrence, William S; Patrikeev, Igor; Peel, Jennifer E; Andersson, Jourdan A; Kozlova, Elena V; Tiner, Bethany L; Peterson, Johnny W; McWilliams, David; Patel, Snehal; Rothe, Eric; Motin, Vladimir L; Chopra, Ashok K

    2016-07-01

    Currently, no plague vaccine exists in the United States for human use. The capsular antigen (Caf1 or F1) and two type 3 secretion system (T3SS) components, the low-calcium-response V antigen (LcrV) and the needle protein YscF, represent protective antigens of Yersinia pestis We used a replication-defective human type 5 adenovirus (Ad5) vector and constructed recombinant monovalent and trivalent vaccines (rAd5-LcrV and rAd5-YFV) that expressed either the codon-optimized lcrV or the fusion gene designated YFV (consisting of ycsF, caf1, and lcrV). Immunization of mice with the trivalent rAd5-YFV vaccine by either the intramuscular (i.m.) or the intranasal (i.n.) route provided protection superior to that with the monovalent rAd5-LcrV vaccine against bubonic and pneumonic plague when animals were challenged with Y. pestis CO92. Preexisting adenoviral immunity did not diminish the protective response, and the protection was always higher when mice were administered one i.n. dose of the trivalent vaccine (priming) followed by a single i.m. booster dose of the purified YFV antigen. Immunization of cynomolgus macaques with the trivalent rAd5-YFV vaccine by the prime-boost strategy provided 100% protection against a stringent aerosol challenge dose of CO92 to animals that had preexisting adenoviral immunity. The vaccinated and challenged macaques had no signs of disease, and the invading pathogen rapidly cleared with no histopathological lesions. This is the first report showing the efficacy of an adenovirus-vectored trivalent vaccine against pneumonic plague in mouse and nonhuman primate (NHP) models.

  13. A non-invasive in vivo imaging system to study dissemination of bioluminescent Yersinia pestis CO92 in a mouse model of pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Sha, Jian; Rosenzweig, Jason A; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Fitts, Eric C; Kozlova, Elena V; Erova, Tatiana E; Tiner, Bethany L; Chopra, Ashok K

    2013-02-01

    The gold standard in microbiology for monitoring bacterial dissemination in infected animals has always been viable plate counts. This method, despite being quantitative, requires sacrificing the infected animals. Recently, however, an alternative method of in vivo imaging of bioluminescent bacteria (IVIBB) for monitoring microbial dissemination within the host has been employed. Yersinia pestis is a Gram-negative bacterium capable of causing bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic plague. In this study, we compared the conventional counting of bacterial colony forming units (cfu) in the various infected tissues to IVIBB in monitoring Y. pestis dissemination in a mouse model of pneumonic plague. By using a transposon mutagenesis system harboring the luciferase (luc) gene, we screened approximately 4000 clones and obtained a fully virulent, luc-positive Y. pestis CO92 (Y. pestis-luc2) reporter strain in which transposition occurred within the largest pMT1 plasmid which possesses murine toxin and capsular antigen encoding genes. The aforementioned reporter strain and the wild-type CO92 exhibited similar growth curves, formed capsule based on immunofluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, and had a similar LD(50). Intranasal infection of mice with 15 LD(50) of CO92-luc2 resulted in animal mortality by 72 h, and an increasing number of bioluminescent bacteria were observed in various mouse organs over a 24-72 h period when whole animals were imaged. However, following levofloxacin treatment (10 mg/kg/day) for 6 days 24 h post infection, no luminescence was observed after 72 h of infection, indicating that the tested antimicrobial killed bacteria preventing their detection in host peripheral tissues. Overall, we demonstrated that IVIBB is an effective and non-invasive way of monitoring bacterial dissemination in animals following pneumonic plague having strong correlation with cfu, and our reporter CO92-luc2 strain can be employed as a useful tool to monitor the efficacy

  14. A review of recent literature on plague

    PubMed Central

    Pollitzer, R.

    1960-01-01

    In his comprehensive monograph on plague, published by WHO in 1954, Dr Pollitzer pointed out that despite the marked drop in the incidence of this disease in recent years, he considered it impossible for various reasons to be complacent about the situation. Since this monograph appeared, plague has shown a truly spectacular decrease, but in case this is partly the outcome of a natural periodicity of the infection, the author still feels that the disease ”should be given continued attention by those interested in global public health”. To this end he summarizes here the latest information on the subject, his review covering not only works published since 1954, but also some earlier literature (particularly from the USSR) which was not available to him at the time of preparation of his monograph. PMID:13736873

  15. Yersinia pestis--etiologic agent of plague.

    PubMed Central

    Perry, R D; Fetherston, J D

    1997-01-01

    Plague is a widespread zoonotic disease that is caused by Yersinia pestis and has had devastating effects on the human population throughout history. Disappearance of the disease is unlikely due to the wide range of mammalian hosts and their attendant fleas. The flea/rodent life cycle of Y. pestis, a gram-negative obligate pathogen, exposes it to very different environmental conditions and has resulted in some novel traits facilitating transmission and infection. Studies characterizing virulence determinants of Y. pestis have identified novel mechanisms for overcoming host defenses. Regulatory systems controlling the expression of some of these virulence factors have proven quite complex. These areas of research have provide new insights into the host-parasite relationship. This review will update our present understanding of the history, etiology, epidemiology, clinical aspects, and public health issues of plague. PMID:8993858

  16. Frederick Novy and the 1901 San Francisco plague commission investigation.

    PubMed

    Kazanjian, Powel

    2012-11-15

    The 1900 San Francisco plague is a significant event in which citizens, physicians, and public health officials denied a diagnosis of plague on economic, political, and social grounds. To resolve the controversy, Surgeon General Walter Wyman appointed an independent federal commission of university-based experts to investigate whether plague was present. I use the activities of Frederick Novy, the commission bacteriologist and professor at the University of Michigan, to explore one circumstance in which bacteriology attempted to redefine traditional conceptions of disease during the early germ era. Novy showed plague was present in the city but without its characteristic clinical features and devastating epidemiological pattern. Physicians who understood plague by its classic features, however, contested Novy's scientific evidence. His bacteriologic redefinition had no special authority to prevail over opposing conceptions about plague; it was accepted and acted upon once it served the overall interest of the city--to avert a trade embargo.

  17. [Human factors caused the third plague epidemic in Harbin].

    PubMed

    Jin, Dong-Ying; Li, Zhi-Ping

    2011-03-01

    The third plague epidemic in Harbin broke out in 1946 and ended in 1954. Different from the first two plague epidemics (imported), the third prevalence was both imported and idiopathic infectious disease which was caused by human factors. Japanese troops set forbidden zones to build a biological weapon center, which destroyed the natural environment and offered a good growth condition for Citellus Undulatus. In 1945, on the eve of surrender, the Japanese blew up the Unit 731 germ factory located in a bungalow district, which caused diffusion of infected plague fleas. Mice of the district were infected and a man-made plague focus was created. During the prevalence of the third plague, prevention departments at all levels took a series of actions and with people's efforts, the plague was effectively controlled.

  18. The plague under Marcus Aurelius and the decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

    PubMed

    Fears, J Rufus

    2004-03-01

    The Roman Empire of the second century was a superpower that, in relative terms, dominated its world as much as the United States does today. In 166 AD, a plague broke out od pandemic proportions. The pandemic ravaged the entire extent of the Roman Empire, from its eastern frontiers in Iraq to its western frontiers on the Rhine River and Gaul, modern France, and western Germany. The disease is identified most often as smallpox, but it may have been anthrax. The study of bacterial DNA may enable identification of this plague that ravaged the Roman Empire at recurrent intervals for more than 100 years and that had a significant role in the decline and fall of this great superpower.

  19. Protecting against plague: towards a next-generation vaccine.

    PubMed

    Williamson, E D; Oyston, P C F

    2013-04-01

    The causative organism of plague is the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Advances in understanding the complex pathogenesis of plague infection have led to the identification of the F1- and V-antigens as key components of a next-generation vaccine for plague, which have the potential to be effective against all forms of the disease. Here we review the roles of F1- and V-antigens in the context of the range of virulence mechanisms deployed by Y. pestis, in order to develop a greater understanding of the protective immune responses required to protect against plague.

  20. Disease limits populations: plague and black-tailed prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, Jack F.; Johnson, T.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.

    2010-01-01

    Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present.

  1. Disease Limits Populations: Plague and Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tammi L.; Collinge, Sharon K.; Ray, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present. PMID:20158327

  2. Nathaniel Hodges (1629-1688): Plague doctor.

    PubMed

    Duffin, Christopher J

    2016-02-01

    Nathaniel Hodges was the son of Thomas Hodges (1605-1672), an influential Anglican preacher and reformer with strong connections in the political life of Carolingian London. Educated at Westminster School, Trinity College Cambridge and Christ Church College, Oxford, Nathaniel established himself as a physician in Walbrook Ward in the City of London. Prominent as one of a handful of medical men who remained in London during the time of the Great Plague of 1665, he wrote the definitive work on the outbreak. His daily precautions against contracting the disease included fortifying himself with Théodore de Mayerne's antipestilential electuary and the liberal consumption of Sack. Hodges' approach to the treatment of plague victims was empathetic and based on the traditional Galenic method rather than Paracelsianism although he was pragmatic in the rejection of formulae and simples which he judged from experience to be ineffective. Besieged by financial problems in later life, his practice began to fail in the 1680s and he eventually died in a debtor's prison. PMID:26873169

  3. Nathaniel Hodges (1629-1688): Plague doctor.

    PubMed

    Duffin, Christopher J

    2016-02-01

    Nathaniel Hodges was the son of Thomas Hodges (1605-1672), an influential Anglican preacher and reformer with strong connections in the political life of Carolingian London. Educated at Westminster School, Trinity College Cambridge and Christ Church College, Oxford, Nathaniel established himself as a physician in Walbrook Ward in the City of London. Prominent as one of a handful of medical men who remained in London during the time of the Great Plague of 1665, he wrote the definitive work on the outbreak. His daily precautions against contracting the disease included fortifying himself with Théodore de Mayerne's antipestilential electuary and the liberal consumption of Sack. Hodges' approach to the treatment of plague victims was empathetic and based on the traditional Galenic method rather than Paracelsianism although he was pragmatic in the rejection of formulae and simples which he judged from experience to be ineffective. Besieged by financial problems in later life, his practice began to fail in the 1680s and he eventually died in a debtor's prison.

  4. Plague epizootic cycles in Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Reijniers, Jonas; Begon, Mike; Ageyev, Vladimir S; Leirs, Herwig

    2014-06-01

    Infection thresholds, widely used in disease epidemiology, may operate on host abundance and, if present, on vector abundance. For wildlife populations, host and vector abundances often vary greatly across years and consequently the threshold may be crossed regularly, both up- and downward. Moreover, vector and host abundances may be interdependent, which may affect the infection dynamics. Theory predicts that if the relevant abundance, or combination of abundances, is above the threshold, then the infection is able to spread; if not, it is bound to fade out. In practice, though, the observed level of infection may depend more on past than on current abundances. Here, we study the temporal dynamics of plague (Yersinia pestis infection), its vector (flea) and its host (great gerbil) in the PreBalkhash region in Kazakhstan. We describe how host and vector abundances interact over time and how this interaction drives the dynamics of the system around the infection threshold, consequently affecting the proportion of plague-infected sectors. We also explore the importance of the interplay between biological and detectability delays in generating the observed dynamics.

  5. Hong Kong Junk: Plague and the Economy of Chinese Things.

    PubMed

    Peckham, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Histories of the Third Plague Pandemic, which diffused globally from China in the 1890s, have tended to focus on colonial efforts to regulate the movement of infected populations, on the state's draconian public health measures, and on the development of novel bacteriological theories of disease causation. In contrast, this article focuses on the plague epidemic in Hong Kong and examines colonial preoccupations with Chinese "things" as sources of likely contagion. In the 1890s, laboratory science invested plague with a new identity as an object to be collected, cultivated, and depicted in journals. At the same time, in the increasingly vociferous anti-opium discourse, opium was conceived as a contagious Chinese commodity: a plague. The article argues that rethinking responses to the plague through the history of material culture can further our understanding of the political consequences of disease's entanglement with economic and racial categories, while demonstrating the extent to which colonial agents "thought through things." PMID:27040025

  6. Hong Kong Junk: Plague and the Economy of Chinese Things.

    PubMed

    Peckham, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Histories of the Third Plague Pandemic, which diffused globally from China in the 1890s, have tended to focus on colonial efforts to regulate the movement of infected populations, on the state's draconian public health measures, and on the development of novel bacteriological theories of disease causation. In contrast, this article focuses on the plague epidemic in Hong Kong and examines colonial preoccupations with Chinese "things" as sources of likely contagion. In the 1890s, laboratory science invested plague with a new identity as an object to be collected, cultivated, and depicted in journals. At the same time, in the increasingly vociferous anti-opium discourse, opium was conceived as a contagious Chinese commodity: a plague. The article argues that rethinking responses to the plague through the history of material culture can further our understanding of the political consequences of disease's entanglement with economic and racial categories, while demonstrating the extent to which colonial agents "thought through things."

  7. Hereditary hemochromatosis restores the virulence of plague vaccine strains.

    PubMed

    Quenee, Lauriane E; Hermanas, Timothy M; Ciletti, Nancy; Louvel, Helene; Miller, Nathan C; Elli, Derek; Blaylock, Bill; Mitchell, Anthony; Schroeder, Jay; Krausz, Thomas; Kanabrocki, Joseph; Schneewind, Olaf

    2012-10-01

    Nonpigmented Yersinia pestis (pgm) strains are defective in scavenging host iron and have been used in live-attenuated vaccines to combat plague epidemics. Recently, a Y. pestis pgm strain was isolated from a researcher with hereditary hemochromatosis who died from laboratory-acquired plague. We used hemojuvelin-knockout (Hjv(-/-)) mice to examine whether iron-storage disease restores the virulence defects of nonpigmented Y. pestis. Unlike wild-type mice, Hjv(-/-) mice developed lethal plague when challenged with Y. pestis pgm strains. Immunization of Hjv(-/-) mice with a subunit vaccine that blocks Y. pestis type III secretion generated protection against plague. Thus, individuals with hereditary hemochromatosis may be protected with subunit vaccines but should not be exposed to live-attenuated plague vaccines.

  8. Where Does Human Plague Still Persist in Latin America?

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Maria Cristina; Najera, Patricia; Aldighieri, Sylvain; Galan, Deise I.; Bertherat, Eric; Ruiz, Alfonso; Dumit, Elsy; Gabastou, Jean Marc; Espinal, Marcos A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Plague is an epidemic-prone disease with a potential impact on public health, international trade, and tourism. It may emerge and re-emerge after decades of epidemiological silence. Today, in Latin America, human cases and foci are present in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. Aims The objective of this study is to identify where cases of human plague still persist in Latin America and map areas that may be at risk for emergence or re-emergence. This analysis will provide evidence-based information for countries to prioritize areas for intervention. Methods Evidence of the presence of plague was demonstrated using existing official information from WHO, PAHO, and Ministries of Health. A geo-referenced database was created to map the historical presence of plague by country between the first registered case in 1899 and 2012. Areas where plague still persists were mapped at the second level of the political/administrative divisions (counties). Selected demographic, socioeconomic, and environmental variables were described. Results Plague was found to be present for one or more years in 14 out of 25 countries in Latin America (1899–2012). Foci persisted in six countries, two of which have no report of current cases. There is evidence that human cases of plague still persist in 18 counties. Demographic and poverty patterns were observed in 11/18 counties. Four types of biomes are most commonly found. 12/18 have an average altitude higher than 1,300 meters above sea level. Discussion Even though human plague cases are very localized, the risk is present, and unexpected outbreaks could occur. Countries need to make the final push to eliminate plague as a public health problem for the Americas. A further disaggregated risk evaluation is recommended, including identification of foci and possible interactions among areas where plague could emerge or re-emerge. A closer geographical approach and environmental characterization are suggested. PMID:24516682

  9. Modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animal hosts to delineate sources of human exposure in the western United States

    PubMed Central

    Haseeb, MA

    2015-01-01

    Plague has been established in the western United States (US) since 1900 following the West Coast introduction of commensal rodents infected with Yersinia pestis via early industrial shipping. Over the last century, plague ecology has transitioned through cycles of widespread human transmission, urban domestic transmission among commensal rodents, and ultimately settled into the predominantly sylvan foci that remain today where it is maintained alternatively by enzootic and epizootic transmission. While zoonotic transmission to humans is much less common in modern times, significant plague risk remains in parts of the western US. Moreover, risk to some threatened species that are part of the epizootic cycle can be quite substantive. This investigation attempted to predict the risk of plague across the western US by modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animals identified between 2000 and 2015. A Maxent machine learning algorithm was used to predict this niche based on climate, altitude, land cover, and the presence of an important enzootic species, Peromyscus maniculatus. This model demonstrated good predictive ability (AUC = 86%) and identified areas of high risk in central Colorado, north-central New Mexico, and southwestern and northeastern California. The presence of P. maniculatus, altitude, precipitation during the driest and wettest quarters, and distance to artificial surfaces, all contributed substantively to maximizing the gain function. These findings add to the known landscape epidemiology and infection ecology of plague in the western US and may suggest locations of particular risk to be targeted for wild and domestic animal intervention. PMID:26713244

  10. Modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animal hosts to delineate sources of human exposure in the western United States.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Michael; Haseeb, M A

    2015-01-01

    Plague has been established in the western United States (US) since 1900 following the West Coast introduction of commensal rodents infected with Yersinia pestis via early industrial shipping. Over the last century, plague ecology has transitioned through cycles of widespread human transmission, urban domestic transmission among commensal rodents, and ultimately settled into the predominantly sylvan foci that remain today where it is maintained alternatively by enzootic and epizootic transmission. While zoonotic transmission to humans is much less common in modern times, significant plague risk remains in parts of the western US. Moreover, risk to some threatened species that are part of the epizootic cycle can be quite substantive. This investigation attempted to predict the risk of plague across the western US by modeling the ecologic niche of plague in sylvan and domestic animals identified between 2000 and 2015. A Maxent machine learning algorithm was used to predict this niche based on climate, altitude, land cover, and the presence of an important enzootic species, Peromyscus maniculatus. This model demonstrated good predictive ability (AUC = 86%) and identified areas of high risk in central Colorado, north-central New Mexico, and southwestern and northeastern California. The presence of P. maniculatus, altitude, precipitation during the driest and wettest quarters, and distance to artificial surfaces, all contributed substantively to maximizing the gain function. These findings add to the known landscape epidemiology and infection ecology of plague in the western US and may suggest locations of particular risk to be targeted for wild and domestic animal intervention.

  11. Plague in Iran: its history and current status

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Plague remains a public health concern worldwide, particularly in old foci. Multiple epidemics of this disease have been recorded throughout the history of Iran. Despite the long-standing history of human plague in Iran, it remains difficult to obtain an accurate overview of the history and current status of plague in Iran. METHODS: In this review, available data and reports on cases and outbreaks of human plague in the past and present in Iran and in neighboring countries were collected, and information was compiled regarding when, where, and how many cases occurred. RESULTS: This paper considers the history of plague in Persia (the predecessor of today’s Iran) and has a brief review of plague in countries in the World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Region, including a range of countries in the Middle East and North Africa. CONCLUSIONS: Since Iran has experienced outbreaks of plague for several centuries, neighboring countries have reported the disease in recent years, the disease can be silent for decades, and the circulation of Yersinia pestis has been reported among rodents and dogs in western Iran, more attention should be paid to disease monitoring in areas with previously reported human cases and in high-risk regions with previous epizootic and enzootic activity. PMID:27457063

  12. Diagnosis of duck plague in waterfowl by polymerase chain reaction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hansen, W.R.; Nashold, S.W.; Docherty, D.E.; Brown, S.E.; Knudson, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    A recently developed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was used for diagnosis of duck plague in waterfowl tissues from past and current cases of waterfowl mortality and to identify duck plague virus in combined cloacal/oral-pharyngeal swab samples from healthy mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) after a disease outbreak. The PCR was able to detect viral DNA from all the individual or pooled tissues assayed from 10 waterfowl, including liver and spleen samples from three Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata domesticus) that did not yield virus isolates. The strong staining intensity of the PCR products from the waterfowl tissues indicated that large amounts of virus were present, even when virus was not isolated. Duck plague DNA was also detected in a cloacal swab sample from a wood duck (Aix sponsa) carcass submitted for diagnosis. The PCR assay identified duck plague DNA in 13 swab samples that produced virus isolates from carrier mallards sampled in 1981 after a duck plague die-off. The duck plague PCR clearly demonstrated the ability to quickly diagnose duck plague in suspect mortality cases and to detect virus shed by carrier waterfowl.

  13. Interspecific comparisons of sylvatic plague in prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F.; Williams, E.S.

    2001-01-01

    Of the 3 major factors (habitat loss, poisoning, and disease) that limit abundance of prairie dogs today, sylvatic plague caused by Yersinia pestis is the 1 factor that is beyond human control. Plague epizootics frequently kill >99% of prairie dogs in infected colonies. Although epizootics of sylvatic plague occur throughout most of the range of prairie dogs in the United States and are well described, long-term maintenance of plague in enzootic rodent species is not well documented or understood. We review dynamics of plague in white-tailed (Cynomys leucurus), Gunnison's (C. gunnisoni), and black-tailed (C. ludovicianus) prairie dogs, and their rodent and flea associates. We use epidemiologic concepts to support an enzootic hypothesis in which the disease is maintained in a dynamic state, which requires transmission of Y. pestis to be slower than recruitment of new susceptible mammal hosts. Major effects of plague are to reduce colony size of black-tailed prairie dogs and increase intercolony distances within colony complexes. In the presence of plague, black-tailed prairie dogs will probably survive in complexes of small colonies that are usually >3 km from their nearest neighbor colonies.

  14. Identification of duck plague virus by polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Hansen, W R; Brown, S E; Nashold, S W; Knudson, D L

    1999-01-01

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for detecting duck plague virus. A 765-bp EcoRI fragment cloned from the genome of the duck plague vaccine (DP-VAC) virus was sequenced for PCR primer development. The fragment sequence was found by GenBank alignment searches to be similar to the 3' ends of an undefined open reading frame and the gene for DNA polymerase protein in other herpesviruses. Three of four primers sets were found to be specific for the DP-VAC virus and 100% (7/7) of field isolates but did not amplify DNA from inclusion body disease of cranes virus. The specificity of one primer set was tested with genome templates from other avian herpesviruses, including those from a golden eagle, bald eagle, great horned owl, snowy owl, peregrine falcon, prairie falcon, pigeon, psittacine, and chicken (infectious laryngotracheitis), but amplicons were not produced. Hence, this PCR test is highly specific for duck plague virus DNA. Two primer sets were able to detect 1 fg of DNA from the duck plague vaccine strain, equivalent to five genome copies. In addition, the ratio of tissue culture infectious doses to genome copies of duck plague vaccine virus from infected duck embryo cells was determined to be 1:100, making the PCR assay 20 times more sensitive than tissue culture for detecting duck plague virus. The speed, sensitivity, and specificity of this PCR provide a greatly improved diagnostic and research tool for studying the epizootiology of duck plague. PMID:10216766

  15. The nature of plague in late eighteenth-century Egypt.

    PubMed

    Mikhail, Alan

    2008-01-01

    This article uses an examination of the 1791 plague in Egypt to explore the relationships among disease, famine, flood, drought, and death in late eighteenth-century Egypt. It analyzes how plague functioned as part of a regular biophysical pathology of the environment in which the disease came and went as one iteration in a cycle that included famine, wind, flood, drought, price inflation, and revolt. Using the works of Egyptian chroniclers, archival materials, secondary studies, and traveler accounts, this article integrates plague into the study of the Egyptian environment by showing how it was a regular and expected part of life in Egypt. PMID:18622069

  16. A solitary case of duck plague in a wild mallard

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wobeser, G.; Docherty, D.E.

    1987-01-01

    Duck plague was diagnosed on the basis of pathology and virus isolation in a wild female mallard Anas platyrhynchos found dead near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Day-old Pekin ducklings and one of two adult mallards died with lesions typical of duck plague following inoculation of tissue from the wild bird. This is believed to be the only reported case of duck plague in a wild bird since a major outbreak occurred in South Dakota in 1973, and the fourth such report in North America.

  17. Plague in Arab Maghreb, 1940-2015: A Review.

    PubMed

    Malek, Maliya Alia; Bitam, Idir; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-01-01

    We reviewed the epidemiology of 49 plague outbreaks that resulted in about 7,612 cases in 30 localities in the Arabic Maghreb (Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt) over 75 years. Between 1940 and 1950, most cases recorded in Morocco (75%) and Egypt (20%), resulted from plague imported to Mediterranean harbors and transmitted by rat ectoparasites. By contrast, the re-emergence of plague in the southern part of Western Sahara in 1953 and in northeast Libya in 1976 was traced to direct contact between nomadic populations and infected goats and camels in natural foci, including the consumption of contaminated meat, illustrating this neglected oral route of contamination. Further familial outbreaks were traced to human ectoparasite transmission. Efforts to identify the factors contributing to natural foci may guide where to focus the surveillance of sentinel animals in order to eradicate human plague, if not Yersinia pestis from the Arab Maghreb. PMID:27376053

  18. [Molecular mechanisms of the plague pathogenic agent interaction with invertebrates].

    PubMed

    Kutyrev, V V; Eroshenko, G A; Popov, N V; Vidiaeva, N A; Konnov, N P

    2009-01-01

    Microbe Russian Anti-Plague Research Institute, Saratov, Russia The literature data and experimental results of the authors on the molecular basis of plague agent interaction with invertebrates are discussed. The details of the plague agent life cycle, its genome organization, and molecular genetic mechanisms of its survival in flea vector and on the nematode cuticule are discussed. The experimental data about the ability to form biofilms at abiotic and biotic surfaces in the Yersinia pestis strains of the main and non-main subspecies are presented. Mechanisms of horizontal and vertical transmission of plague agent are considered. The suggestion about participation of the new member in the complex parasitic biocenosis (nematode, vector parasite) is put forward. PMID:20050160

  19. Plague in Arab Maghreb, 1940–2015: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Malek, Maliya Alia; Bitam, Idir; Drancourt, Michel

    2016-01-01

    We reviewed the epidemiology of 49 plague outbreaks that resulted in about 7,612 cases in 30 localities in the Arabic Maghreb (Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt) over 75 years. Between 1940 and 1950, most cases recorded in Morocco (75%) and Egypt (20%), resulted from plague imported to Mediterranean harbors and transmitted by rat ectoparasites. By contrast, the re-emergence of plague in the southern part of Western Sahara in 1953 and in northeast Libya in 1976 was traced to direct contact between nomadic populations and infected goats and camels in natural foci, including the consumption of contaminated meat, illustrating this neglected oral route of contamination. Further familial outbreaks were traced to human ectoparasite transmission. Efforts to identify the factors contributing to natural foci may guide where to focus the surveillance of sentinel animals in order to eradicate human plague, if not Yersinia pestis from the Arab Maghreb. PMID:27376053

  20. Understanding the Persistence of Plague Foci in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Andrianaivoarimanana, Voahangy; Kreppel, Katharina; Elissa, Nohal; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Carniel, Elisabeth; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Jambou, Ronan

    2013-01-01

    Plague, a zoonosis caused by Yersinia pestis, is still found in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Madagascar reports almost one third of the cases worldwide. Y. pestis can be encountered in three very different types of foci: urban, rural, and sylvatic. Flea vector and wild rodent host population dynamics are tightly correlated with modulation of climatic conditions, an association that could be crucial for both the maintenance of foci and human plague epidemics. The black rat Rattus rattus, the main host of Y. pestis in Madagascar, is found to exhibit high resistance to plague in endemic areas, opposing the concept of high mortality rates among rats exposed to the infection. Also, endemic fleas could play an essential role in maintenance of the foci. This review discusses recent advances in the understanding of the role of these factors as well as human behavior in the persistence of plague in Madagascar. PMID:24244760

  1. Sylvatic plague vaccine and management of prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2012-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin (UW), have developed a sylvatic plague vaccine that shows great promise in protecting prairie dogs against plague (Mencher and others, 2004; Rocke and others, 2010). Four species of prairie dogs reside in the United States and Canada, and all are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Along with habitat loss and poisoning, plague has contributed to a significant historical decline in prairie dog populations. By some estimates, prairie dogs now occupy only 1 to 2 percent of their former range (Proctor and others, 2006), with prairie dog colonies being now much smaller and fragmented than they were historically, making individual colonies more vulnerable to elimination by plague (Antolin and others, 2002). At least one species, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as "threatened." Controlling plague is a vital concern for ongoing management and conservation efforts for prairie dogs. Current efforts to halt the spread of plague in prairie dog colonies typically rely on dusting individual prairie dog burrows with pesticides to kill plague-infected fleas. Although flea-control insecticides, such as deltamethrin, are useful in stopping plague outbreaks in these prairie dog colonies, dusting of burrows is labor intensive and time consuming and may affect other insects and arthropods. As an alternative approach, NWHC and UW scientists developed a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) for prairie dogs that can be delivered via oral bait. Laboratory studies have shown that consumption of this vaccine-laden bait by different prairie dog species results in significant protection against plague infection that can last for at least 9 months (Rocke and others, 2010; Rocke, unpublished). Work has now shifted to optimizing baits and distribution methods for

  2. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R; Busch, Joseph D; Antolin, Michael F; Wagner, David M

    2012-02-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogeneous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance. PMID:21923261

  3. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R.; Busch, Joseph D.; Antolin, Michael F.; Wagner, David M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  4. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Williamson, J.; Cobble, K.R.; Busch, J.D.; Antolin, M.F.; Wagner, D.M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance. ?? 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

  5. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R; Busch, Joseph D; Antolin, Michael F; Wagner, David M

    2012-02-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogeneous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  6. Combinational deletion of three membrane protein-encoding genes highly attenuates yersinia pestis while retaining immunogenicity in a mouse model of pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Tiner, Bethany L; Sha, Jian; Kirtley, Michelle L; Erova, Tatiana E; Popov, Vsevolod L; Baze, Wallace B; van Lier, Christina J; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Andersson, Jourdan A; Motin, Vladimir L; Chauhan, Sadhana; Chopra, Ashok K

    2015-04-01

    Previously, we showed that deletion of genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp) and MsbB attenuated Yersinia pestis CO92 in mouse and rat models of bubonic and pneumonic plague. While Lpp activates Toll-like receptor 2, the MsbB acyltransferase modifies lipopolysaccharide. Here, we deleted the ail gene (encoding the attachment-invasion locus) from wild-type (WT) strain CO92 or its lpp single and Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutants. While the Δail single mutant was minimally attenuated compared to the WT bacterium in a mouse model of pneumonic plague, the Δlpp Δail double mutant and the Δlpp ΔmsbB Δail triple mutant were increasingly attenuated, with the latter being unable to kill mice at a 50% lethal dose (LD50) equivalent to 6,800 LD50s of WT CO92. The mutant-infected animals developed balanced TH1- and TH2-based immune responses based on antibody isotyping. The triple mutant was cleared from mouse organs rapidly, with concurrent decreases in the production of various cytokines and histopathological lesions. When surviving animals infected with increasing doses of the triple mutant were subsequently challenged on day 24 with the bioluminescent WT CO92 strain (20 to 28 LD50s), 40 to 70% of the mice survived, with efficient clearing of the invading pathogen, as visualized in real time by in vivo imaging. The rapid clearance of the triple mutant, compared to that of WT CO92, from animals was related to the decreased adherence and invasion of human-derived HeLa and A549 alveolar epithelial cells and to its inability to survive intracellularly in these cells as well as in MH-S murine alveolar and primary human macrophages. An early burst of cytokine production in macrophages elicited by the triple mutant compared to WT CO92 and the mutant's sensitivity to the bactericidal effect of human serum would further augment bacterial clearance. Together, deletion of the ail gene from the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant severely attenuated Y. pestis CO92 to evoke pneumonic plague in a

  7. Combinational Deletion of Three Membrane Protein-Encoding Genes Highly Attenuates Yersinia pestis while Retaining Immunogenicity in a Mouse Model of Pneumonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Tiner, Bethany L.; Kirtley, Michelle L.; Erova, Tatiana E.; Popov, Vsevolod L.; Baze, Wallace B.; van Lier, Christina J.; Ponnusamy, Duraisamy; Andersson, Jourdan A.; Motin, Vladimir L.; Chauhan, Sadhana

    2015-01-01

    Previously, we showed that deletion of genes encoding Braun lipoprotein (Lpp) and MsbB attenuated Yersinia pestis CO92 in mouse and rat models of bubonic and pneumonic plague. While Lpp activates Toll-like receptor 2, the MsbB acyltransferase modifies lipopolysaccharide. Here, we deleted the ail gene (encoding the attachment-invasion locus) from wild-type (WT) strain CO92 or its lpp single and Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutants. While the Δail single mutant was minimally attenuated compared to the WT bacterium in a mouse model of pneumonic plague, the Δlpp Δail double mutant and the Δlpp ΔmsbB Δail triple mutant were increasingly attenuated, with the latter being unable to kill mice at a 50% lethal dose (LD50) equivalent to 6,800 LD50s of WT CO92. The mutant-infected animals developed balanced TH1- and TH2-based immune responses based on antibody isotyping. The triple mutant was cleared from mouse organs rapidly, with concurrent decreases in the production of various cytokines and histopathological lesions. When surviving animals infected with increasing doses of the triple mutant were subsequently challenged on day 24 with the bioluminescent WT CO92 strain (20 to 28 LD50s), 40 to 70% of the mice survived, with efficient clearing of the invading pathogen, as visualized in real time by in vivo imaging. The rapid clearance of the triple mutant, compared to that of WT CO92, from animals was related to the decreased adherence and invasion of human-derived HeLa and A549 alveolar epithelial cells and to its inability to survive intracellularly in these cells as well as in MH-S murine alveolar and primary human macrophages. An early burst of cytokine production in macrophages elicited by the triple mutant compared to WT CO92 and the mutant's sensitivity to the bactericidal effect of human serum would further augment bacterial clearance. Together, deletion of the ail gene from the Δlpp ΔmsbB double mutant severely attenuated Y. pestis CO92 to evoke pneumonic plague in a

  8. [Sympatric Speciation of the Plague Microbe Yersinia pestis: Monohostal Specialization in the Host-Parasite Marmot-Flea (Marmota sibirica-Oropsylla silantiewi) System].

    PubMed

    Suntsov, V V

    2016-01-01

    An ecological scenario of the origin of the plague microbe that is interpreted in the light of modern Darwinism (synthetic theory of evolution) is presented. It is shown that the plague microbe emerged from a clone of the psychrophilic saprozoonotic pseudotuberculosis microbe Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O:1b in the mountain steppe landscapes of Central Asia in the Sartan time, 22000-15000 years ago, in the monohostal Mongolian marmot (Marmota sibirica)-flea (Oropsylla silantiewi) host-parasite system. It was noted that the evolutionary process described corresponds to the sympatric form of speciation by transition ofthe clone of migrant founders to a new, already-existing ecological niche. It was established that monohostal specialization of the plague microbe was made possible due to heterothermia (5-37 degrees C) of marmots in the hibernation period. The factors of the speciation process--isolation, the struggle for existence, and natural selection--were analyzed. PMID:27396172

  9. [Sympatric Speciation of the Plague Microbe Yersinia pestis: Monohostal Specialization in the Host-Parasite Marmot-Flea (Marmota sibirica-Oropsylla silantiewi) System].

    PubMed

    Suntsov, V V

    2016-01-01

    An ecological scenario of the origin of the plague microbe that is interpreted in the light of modern Darwinism (synthetic theory of evolution) is presented. It is shown that the plague microbe emerged from a clone of the psychrophilic saprozoonotic pseudotuberculosis microbe Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O:1b in the mountain steppe landscapes of Central Asia in the Sartan time, 22000-15000 years ago, in the monohostal Mongolian marmot (Marmota sibirica)-flea (Oropsylla silantiewi) host-parasite system. It was noted that the evolutionary process described corresponds to the sympatric form of speciation by transition ofthe clone of migrant founders to a new, already-existing ecological niche. It was established that monohostal specialization of the plague microbe was made possible due to heterothermia (5-37 degrees C) of marmots in the hibernation period. The factors of the speciation process--isolation, the struggle for existence, and natural selection--were analyzed.

  10. Potential corridors and barriers for plague spread in central Asia

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Plague (Yersinia pestis infection) is a vector-borne disease which caused millions of human deaths in the Middle Ages. The hosts of plague are mostly rodents, and the disease is spread by the fleas that feed on them. Currently, the disease still circulates amongst sylvatic rodent populations all over the world, including great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) populations in Central Asia. Great gerbils are social desert rodents that live in family groups in burrows, which are visible on satellite images. In great gerbil populations an abundance threshold exists, above which plague can spread causing epizootics. The spatial distribution of the host species is thought to influence the plague dynamics, such as the direction of plague spread, however no detailed analysis exists on the possible functional or structural corridors and barriers that are present in this population and landscape. This study aims to fill that gap. Methods Three 20 by 20 km areas with known great gerbil burrow distributions were used to analyse the spatial distribution of the burrows. Object-based image analysis was used to map the landscape at several scales, and was linked to the burrow maps. A novel object-based method was developed – the mean neighbour absolute burrow density difference (MNABDD) – to identify the optimal scale and evaluate the efficacy of using landscape objects as opposed to square cells. Multiple regression using raster maps was used to identify the landscape-ecological variables that explain burrow density best. Functional corridors and barriers were mapped using burrow density thresholds. Cumulative resistance of the burrow distribution to potential disease spread was evaluated using cost distance analysis. A 46-year plague surveillance dataset was used to evaluate whether plague spread was radially symmetric. Results The burrow distribution was found to be non-random and negatively correlated with Greenness, especially in the floodplain areas. Corridors and

  11. Zoonoses As Ecological Entities: A Case Review of Plague

    PubMed Central

    de Almeida, Alzira Maria Paiva; Cordeiro-Estrela, Pedro

    2016-01-01

    As a zoonosis, Plague is also an ecological entity, a complex system of ecological interactions between the pathogen, the hosts, and the spatiotemporal variations of its ecosystems. Five reservoir system models have been proposed: (i) assemblages of small mammals with different levels of susceptibility and roles in the maintenance and amplification of the cycle; (ii) species-specific chronic infection models; (ii) flea vectors as the true reservoirs; (iii) Telluric Plague, and (iv) a metapopulation arrangement for species with a discrete spatial organization, following a source-sink dynamic of extinction and recolonization with naïve potential hosts. The diversity of the community that harbors the reservoir system affects the transmission cycle by predation, competition, and dilution effect. Plague has notable environmental constraints, depending on altitude (500+ meters), warm and dry climates, and conditions for high productivity events for expansion of the transmission cycle. Human impacts are altering Plague dynamics by altering landscape and the faunal composition of the foci and adjacent areas, usually increasing the presence and number of human cases and outbreaks. Climatic change is also affecting the range of its occurrence. In the current transitional state of zoonosis as a whole, Plague is at risk of becoming a public health problem in poor countries where ecosystem erosion, anthropic invasion of new areas, and climate change increase the contact of the population with reservoir systems, giving new urgency for ecologic research that further details its maintenance in the wild, the spillover events, and how it links to human cases. PMID:27711205

  12. [ON SOME DEBATABLE PROBLEMS OF THE NATURAL NIDALITY OF PLAGUE].

    PubMed

    Verzhutsky, D B; Balakhonov, S V

    2016-01-01

    The communication substantiates the opinion that the theory of natural nidality of plague; which is based on the fundamental recognition that fleas play a leading role in the transmission and accumulation of the plague pathogen, cannot be disproved or substantially changed on the alternative weakly reasoned assumptions and hypotheses. All its "bottlenecks" are quite understandable when considering the long-term volumetric materials that have been gathered directly in nature and generalized in multiple publications. Plague is an obligate transmissive infection; its, agent is a highly specialized parasite that is completely associated in its vital activity with the only group of the blood-sucking insects--fleas and that is transmitted through periodic colonization of warm-blooded animals for a short time. All other types of plague microbe persistence in nature are either occasional or minor and do not play any significant role in pathogen persistence in the natural foci of this disease. There are no strong grounds for seriously considering the attempts to revise the main points of the theory of natural nidality of plague, which are widely held in current academic publications. PMID:27029139

  13. [ON SOME DEBATABLE PROBLEMS OF THE NATURAL NIDALITY OF PLAGUE].

    PubMed

    Verzhutsky, D B; Balakhonov, S V

    2016-01-01

    The communication substantiates the opinion that the theory of natural nidality of plague; which is based on the fundamental recognition that fleas play a leading role in the transmission and accumulation of the plague pathogen, cannot be disproved or substantially changed on the alternative weakly reasoned assumptions and hypotheses. All its "bottlenecks" are quite understandable when considering the long-term volumetric materials that have been gathered directly in nature and generalized in multiple publications. Plague is an obligate transmissive infection; its, agent is a highly specialized parasite that is completely associated in its vital activity with the only group of the blood-sucking insects--fleas and that is transmitted through periodic colonization of warm-blooded animals for a short time. All other types of plague microbe persistence in nature are either occasional or minor and do not play any significant role in pathogen persistence in the natural foci of this disease. There are no strong grounds for seriously considering the attempts to revise the main points of the theory of natural nidality of plague, which are widely held in current academic publications.

  14. Wet climate and transportation routes accelerate spread of human plague

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Lei; Stige, Leif Chr.; Kausrud, Kyrre Linné; Ben Ari, Tamara; Wang, Shuchun; Fang, Xiye; Schmid, Boris V.; Liu, Qiyong; Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Zhang, Zhibin

    2014-01-01

    Currently, large-scale transmissions of infectious diseases are becoming more closely associated with accelerated globalization and climate change, but quantitative analyses are still rare. By using an extensive dataset consisting of date and location of cases for the third plague pandemic from 1772 to 1964 in China and a novel method (nearest neighbour approach) which deals with both short- and long-distance transmissions, we found the presence of major roads, rivers and coastline accelerated the spread of plague and shaped the transmission patterns. We found that plague spread velocity was positively associated with wet conditions (measured by an index of drought and flood events) in China, probably due to flood-driven transmission by people or rodents. Our study provides new insights on transmission patterns and possible mechanisms behind variability in transmission speed, with implications for prevention and control measures. The methodology may also be applicable to studies of disease dynamics or species movement in other systems. PMID:24523275

  15. Wet climate and transportation routes accelerate spread of human plague.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lei; Stige, Leif Chr; Kausrud, Kyrre Linné; Ben Ari, Tamara; Wang, Shuchun; Fang, Xiye; Schmid, Boris V; Liu, Qiyong; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Zhang, Zhibin

    2014-04-01

    Currently, large-scale transmissions of infectious diseases are becoming more closely associated with accelerated globalization and climate change, but quantitative analyses are still rare. By using an extensive dataset consisting of date and location of cases for the third plague pandemic from 1772 to 1964 in China and a novel method (nearest neighbour approach) which deals with both short- and long-distance transmissions, we found the presence of major roads, rivers and coastline accelerated the spread of plague and shaped the transmission patterns. We found that plague spread velocity was positively associated with wet conditions (measured by an index of drought and flood events) in China, probably due to flood-driven transmission by people or rodents. Our study provides new insights on transmission patterns and possible mechanisms behind variability in transmission speed, with implications for prevention and control measures. The methodology may also be applicable to studies of disease dynamics or species movement in other systems.

  16. Reflections on crisis burials related to past plague epidemics.

    PubMed

    Signoli, M

    2012-03-01

    Drawing its etymology from the Latin pestis (curse), plague, over the centuries, has been more dreaded by humankind than any other epidemic. The Apocalypse had recognized plague as the archetypal divine curse, 'the power to kill over a fourth of the earth'. Plague is thus a particular topic of study, insofar that it is one of the rare epidemics that has had recurrent major consequences on demography and human societies. Its highly transmissible nature, the brutality of its action, its high pathogenicity, marked by strong lethality and great swiftness, and the complete absence of treatment options before the 20th century conferred on it a sinister aspect. Generating a series of severe demographic crises, well known in the Western world, it has necessarily influenced the evolution of societies at both the biological and cultural levels. PMID:22369154

  17. Predicting Potential Risk Areas of Human Plague for the Western Usambara Mountains, Lushoto District, Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Neerinckx, Simon; Peterson, A. Townsend; Gulinck, Hubert; Deckers, Jozef; Kimaro, Didas; Leirs, Herwig

    2010-01-01

    A natural focus of plague exists in the Western Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. Despite intense research, questions remain as to why and how plague emerges repeatedly in the same suite of villages. We used human plague incidence data for 1986–2003 in an ecological-niche modeling framework to explore the geographic distribution and ecology of human plague. Our analyses indicate that plague occurrence is related directly to landscape-scale environmental features, yielding a predictive understanding of one set of environmental factors affecting plague transmission in East Africa. Although many environmental variables contribute significantly to these models, the most important are elevation and Enhanced Vegetation Index derivatives. Projections of these models across broader regions predict only 15.5% (under a majority-rule threshold) or 31,997 km2 of East Africa as suitable for plague transmission, but they successfully anticipate most known foci in the region, making possible the development of a risk map of plague. PMID:20207880

  18. [Shiyihebiaoshezhengzhifa: the book of folk external therapies for plague].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-hong

    2010-03-01

    Shiyihebiaoshezhengzhifa was written by Li Shou-zhong of the Qing dynasty and later revised by his friend Gao Chao-yu and published at the same time. This book mainly recorded some folk external therapies for plague such as acupuncture, bleeding and external application of materia medica etc.

  19. Mortality from duck plague virus in immunosuppressed adult mallard ducks

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, D.R.; Yuill, T.M.; Burgess, E.C. )

    1990-07-01

    Environmental contaminants contain chemicals that, if ingested, could affect the immunological status of wild birds, and in particular, their resistance to infectious disease. Immunosuppression caused by environmental contaminants, could have a major impact on waterfowl populations, resulting in increased susceptibility to contagious disease agents. Duck plague virus has caused repeated outbreaks in waterfowl resulting in mortality. In this study, several doses of cyclophosphamide (CY), a known immunosuppressant, were administered to adult mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to determine if a resultant decrease in resistance to a normally sub-lethal strain of duck plague virus would occur, and induce mortality in these birds. Death occurred in birds given CY only, and in birds given virus and CY, but not in those given virus only. There was significantly greater mortality and more rapid deaths in the duck plague virus-infected groups than in groups receiving only the immunosuppressant. A positively correlated dose-response effect was observed with CY mortalities, irrespective of virus exposure. A fuel oil and a crude oil, common environmental contaminants with immunosuppressive capabilities, were tested to determine if they could produce an effect similar to that of CY. Following 28 days of oral oil administration, the birds were challenged with a sub-lethal dose of duck plague virus. No alteration in resistance to the virus (as measured by mortality) was observed, except in the positive CY control group.

  20. Mortality from duck plague virus in immunosuppressed adult mallard ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldberg, D.R.; Yuill, Thomas M.; Burgess, E.C.

    1990-01-01

    Environmental contaminants contain chemicals that, if ingested, could affect the immunological status of wild birds, and in particular, their resistance to infectious disease. Immunosuppression caused by environmental contaminants, could have a major impact on waterfowl populations, resulting in increased susceptibility to contagious disease agents. Duck plague virus has caused repeated outbreaks in waterfowl resulting in mortality. In this study, several doses of cyclophosphamide (CY), a known immunosuppressant, were administered to adult mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to determine if a resultant decrease in resistance to a normally sub-lethal strain of duck plague virus would occur, and induce mortality in these birds. Death occurred in birds given CY only, and in birds given virus and CY, but not in those given virus only. There was significantly greater mortality and more rapid deaths in the duck plague virus-infected groups than in groups receiving only the immunosuppressant. A positively correlated dose-response effect was observed with CY mortalities, irrespective of virus exposure. A fuel oil and a crude oil, common environmental contaminants with immunosuppressive capabilities, were tested to determine if they could produce an effect similar to that of CY. Following 28 days of oral oil administration, the birds were challenged with a sub-lethal dose of duck plague virus. No alteration in resistance to the virus (as measured by mortality) was observed, except in the positive CY control group.

  1. Empirical assessment of a threshold model for sylvatic plague.

    PubMed

    Davis, S; Leirs, H; Viljugrein, H; Stenseth, N Chr; De Bruyn, L; Klassovskiy, N; Ageyev, V; Begon, M

    2007-08-22

    Plague surveillance programmes established in Kazakhstan, Central Asia, during the previous century, have generated large plague archives that have been used to parameterize an abundance threshold model for sylvatic plague in great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus) populations. Here, we assess the model using additional data from the same archives. Throughout the focus, population levels above the threshold were a necessary condition for an epizootic to occur. However, there were large numbers of occasions when an epizootic was not observed even though great gerbils were, and had been, abundant. We examine six hypotheses that could explain the resulting false positive predictions, namely (i) including end-of-outbreak data erroneously lowers the estimated threshold, (ii) too few gerbils were tested, (iii) plague becomes locally extinct, (iv) the abundance of fleas was too low, (v) the climate was unfavourable, and (vi) a high proportion of gerbils were resistant. Of these, separate thresholds, fleas and climate received some support but accounted for few false positives and can be disregarded as serious omissions from the model. Small sample size and local extinction received strong support and can account for most of the false positives. Host resistance received no support here but should be subject to more direct experimental testing.

  2. [Advance to the research of the climate factor effect on the distribution of plague].

    PubMed

    Zhang, A P; Wei, R J; Xiong, H M; Wang, Z Y

    2016-05-01

    Plague is an anthropozoonotic disease caused by the Yersinia pestis ,which developed by many factors including local climate factors. In recent years, more and more studies on the effects of climate on plague were conducted. According to the researches, climate factors (mainly the rainfall and temperature) affected the development and distribution of plague by influencing the abundance of plague host animals and fleas index. The climate also affected the epidemic dynamics and the scope of plague. There were significant differences existing in the influence of climate on the palgue developed in the north and south China. In the two different plague epidemic systems, the solitary Daurian ground squirrel-flea-plague and the social Mongolian gerbil-flea-plague, the obvious population differences existed among the responses of the host animal to the climate changes. Although the internal relationship between the rainfall, the flea index, the density of rodents and the plague supported the nutritional cascade hypothesis, it can not prove that there is a clear causality between the occurrence of plague and rainfall. So the influence of climate factors on plague distribution can only be used for early forecasting and warning of the plague. PMID:27141906

  3. [Advance to the research of the climate factor effect on the distribution of plague].

    PubMed

    Zhang, A P; Wei, R J; Xiong, H M; Wang, Z Y

    2016-05-01

    Plague is an anthropozoonotic disease caused by the Yersinia pestis ,which developed by many factors including local climate factors. In recent years, more and more studies on the effects of climate on plague were conducted. According to the researches, climate factors (mainly the rainfall and temperature) affected the development and distribution of plague by influencing the abundance of plague host animals and fleas index. The climate also affected the epidemic dynamics and the scope of plague. There were significant differences existing in the influence of climate on the palgue developed in the north and south China. In the two different plague epidemic systems, the solitary Daurian ground squirrel-flea-plague and the social Mongolian gerbil-flea-plague, the obvious population differences existed among the responses of the host animal to the climate changes. Although the internal relationship between the rainfall, the flea index, the density of rodents and the plague supported the nutritional cascade hypothesis, it can not prove that there is a clear causality between the occurrence of plague and rainfall. So the influence of climate factors on plague distribution can only be used for early forecasting and warning of the plague.

  4. Pathogenicity of duck plague and innate immune responses of the Cherry Valley ducks to duck plague virus.

    PubMed

    Li, Ning; Hong, Tianqi; Li, Rong; Guo, Mengjiao; Wang, Yao; Zhang, Jinzhou; Liu, Jiyuan; Cai, Yumei; Liu, Sidang; Chai, Tongjie; Wei, Liangmeng

    2016-01-01

    Duck plague caused by duck plague virus (DPV) is an acute and contagious disease. To better understand the pathogenic mechanism of duck plague virus in ducklings, an infection experiment was performed. Our results showed that typical symptoms were observed in the infected ducklings. DPV could replicate quickly in many tissues, leading to pathological lesions, especially on the spleen. Real-time quantitative PCR demonstrated that expression of many innate immune-related genes was mostly up-regulated in the brain, and the antiviral innate immune response was established, but not sufficient to restrict viral replication. In contrast, although the expression of many major pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) increased in the spleen, the expression of most cytokines was declined. Our study indicates that DPV is a pantropic virus that can replicate rapidly in tissues, causing serious pathological lesions but the immune responses are different in the spleen and brain. To our knowledge, this is the first report to systematically explore the expression profiles of the immune genes in the DPV-infected ducks. Our data provide a foundation for further study of the pathogenicity of duck plague. PMID:27553496

  5. Pathogenicity of duck plague and innate immune responses of the Cherry Valley ducks to duck plague virus.

    PubMed

    Li, Ning; Hong, Tianqi; Li, Rong; Guo, Mengjiao; Wang, Yao; Zhang, Jinzhou; Liu, Jiyuan; Cai, Yumei; Liu, Sidang; Chai, Tongjie; Wei, Liangmeng

    2016-08-24

    Duck plague caused by duck plague virus (DPV) is an acute and contagious disease. To better understand the pathogenic mechanism of duck plague virus in ducklings, an infection experiment was performed. Our results showed that typical symptoms were observed in the infected ducklings. DPV could replicate quickly in many tissues, leading to pathological lesions, especially on the spleen. Real-time quantitative PCR demonstrated that expression of many innate immune-related genes was mostly up-regulated in the brain, and the antiviral innate immune response was established, but not sufficient to restrict viral replication. In contrast, although the expression of many major pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) increased in the spleen, the expression of most cytokines was declined. Our study indicates that DPV is a pantropic virus that can replicate rapidly in tissues, causing serious pathological lesions but the immune responses are different in the spleen and brain. To our knowledge, this is the first report to systematically explore the expression profiles of the immune genes in the DPV-infected ducks. Our data provide a foundation for further study of the pathogenicity of duck plague.

  6. Pathogenicity of duck plague and innate immune responses of the Cherry Valley ducks to duck plague virus

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ning; Hong, Tianqi; Li, Rong; Guo, Mengjiao; Wang, Yao; Zhang, Jinzhou; Liu, Jiyuan; Cai, Yumei; Liu, Sidang; Chai, Tongjie; Wei, Liangmeng

    2016-01-01

    Duck plague caused by duck plague virus (DPV) is an acute and contagious disease. To better understand the pathogenic mechanism of duck plague virus in ducklings, an infection experiment was performed. Our results showed that typical symptoms were observed in the infected ducklings. DPV could replicate quickly in many tissues, leading to pathological lesions, especially on the spleen. Real-time quantitative PCR demonstrated that expression of many innate immune-related genes was mostly up-regulated in the brain, and the antiviral innate immune response was established, but not sufficient to restrict viral replication. In contrast, although the expression of many major pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) increased in the spleen, the expression of most cytokines was declined. Our study indicates that DPV is a pantropic virus that can replicate rapidly in tissues, causing serious pathological lesions but the immune responses are different in the spleen and brain. To our knowledge, this is the first report to systematically explore the expression profiles of the immune genes in the DPV-infected ducks. Our data provide a foundation for further study of the pathogenicity of duck plague. PMID:27553496

  7. Incidence of plague associated with increased winter-spring precipitation in New Mexico.

    PubMed

    Parmenter, R R; Yadav, E P; Parmenter, C A; Ettestad, P; Gage, K L

    1999-11-01

    Plague occurs episodically in many parts of the world, and some outbreaks appear to be related to increased abundance of rodents and other mammals that serve as hosts for vector fleas. Climate dynamics may influence the abundance of both fleas and mammals, thereby having an indirect effect on human plague incidence. An understanding of the relationship between climate and plague could be useful in predicting periods of increased risk of plague transmission. In this study, we used correlation analyses of 215 human cases of plague in relation to precipitation records from 1948 to 1996 in areas of New Mexico with history of human plague cases (38 cities, towns, and villages). We conducted analyses using 3 spatial scales: global (El Niño-Southern Oscillation Indices [SOI]); regional (pooled state-wide precipitation averages); and local (precipitation data from weather stations near plague case sites). We found that human plague cases in New Mexico occurred more frequently following winter-spring periods (October to May) with above-average precipitation (mean plague years = 113% of normal rain/ snowfall), resulting in 60% more cases of plague in humans following wet versus dry winter-spring periods. However, we obtained significant results at local level only; regional state-wide precipitation averages and SOI values exhibited no significant correlations to incidence of human plague cases. These results are consistent with our hypothesis of a trophic cascade in which increased winter-spring precipitation enhances small mammal food resource productivity (plants and insects), leading to an increase in the abundance of plague hosts. In addition, moister climate conditions may act to promote flea survival and reproduction, also enhancing plague transmission. Finally, the result that the number of human plague cases in New Mexico was positively associated with higher than normal winter-spring precipitation at a local scale can be used by physicians and public health

  8. Seroprevalence rates and transmission of plague (Yersinia pestis) in mammalian carnivores.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, D J; Stapp, P

    2006-01-01

    Exposure to plague (Yersinia pestis) by flea-bites or consumption of infected rodents is common in mammalian carnivores in North America. Most carnivore species exhibit seroprevalence rates ranging from 3% to 100% in areas where plague occurs. Seroprevalence is highest in mustelids, intermediate in ursids, felids, and canids, and lowest in procyonids, probably reflecting variation in exposure rates as a function of dietary habits. Although conventional wisdom suggests that carnivores may only be important in plague ecology as vectors of infective fleas, animal-to-human (zoonotic) transmission suggests that mammalian carnivores can act as infectious hosts. Furthermore, a review of clinical investigations reveals that plague can be harvested from canid and felid hosts, and suggests the possibility of plague transmission between carnivores. Further study of plague transmission by carnivores in both wild and laboratory conditions is needed to understand the possible role of carnivores as wildlife reservoirs of plague. PMID:16989561

  9. Seroprevalence rates and transmission of plague (Yersinia pestis) in mammalian carnivores.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, D J; Stapp, P

    2006-01-01

    Exposure to plague (Yersinia pestis) by flea-bites or consumption of infected rodents is common in mammalian carnivores in North America. Most carnivore species exhibit seroprevalence rates ranging from 3% to 100% in areas where plague occurs. Seroprevalence is highest in mustelids, intermediate in ursids, felids, and canids, and lowest in procyonids, probably reflecting variation in exposure rates as a function of dietary habits. Although conventional wisdom suggests that carnivores may only be important in plague ecology as vectors of infective fleas, animal-to-human (zoonotic) transmission suggests that mammalian carnivores can act as infectious hosts. Furthermore, a review of clinical investigations reveals that plague can be harvested from canid and felid hosts, and suggests the possibility of plague transmission between carnivores. Further study of plague transmission by carnivores in both wild and laboratory conditions is needed to understand the possible role of carnivores as wildlife reservoirs of plague.

  10. [The Antonine Plague and the decline of the Roman Empire].

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, S; Fiorino, S

    2009-12-01

    The Antonine Plague, which flared up during the reign of Marcus Aurelius from 165 AD and continued under the rule of his son Commodus, played such a major role that the pathocenosis in the Ancient World was changed. The spread of the epidemic was favoured by the occurrence of two military episodes in which Marcus Aurelius himself took part: the Parthian War in Mesopotamia and the wars against the Marcomanni in northeastern Italy, in Noricum and in Pannonia. Accounts of the clinical features of the epidemic are scant and disjointed, with the main source being Galen, who witnessed the plague. Unfortunately, the great physician provides us with only a brief presentation of the disease, his aim being to supply therapeutic approaches, thus passing over the accurate description of the disease symptoms. Although the reports of some clinical cases treated by Galen lead us to think that the Antonine plague was caused by smallpox, palaeopathological confirmation is lacking. Some archaeological evidence (such as terracotta finds) from Italy might reinforce this opinion. In these finds, some details can be observed, suggesting the artist's purpose to represent the classic smallpox pustules, typical signs of the disease. The extent of the epidemic has been extensively debated: the majority of authors agree that the impact of the plague was severe, influencing military conscription, the agricultural and urban economy, and depleting the coffers of the State. The Antonine plague affected ancient Roman traditions, also leaving a mark on artistic expression; a renewal of spirituality and religiousness was recorded. These events created the conditions for the spread of monotheistic religions, such as Mithraism and Christianity. This period, characterized by health, social and economic crises, paved the way for the entry into the Empire of neighbouring barbarian tribes and the recruitment of barbarian troops into the Roman army; these events particularly favoured the cultural and

  11. [The Antonine Plague and the decline of the Roman Empire].

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, S; Fiorino, S

    2009-12-01

    The Antonine Plague, which flared up during the reign of Marcus Aurelius from 165 AD and continued under the rule of his son Commodus, played such a major role that the pathocenosis in the Ancient World was changed. The spread of the epidemic was favoured by the occurrence of two military episodes in which Marcus Aurelius himself took part: the Parthian War in Mesopotamia and the wars against the Marcomanni in northeastern Italy, in Noricum and in Pannonia. Accounts of the clinical features of the epidemic are scant and disjointed, with the main source being Galen, who witnessed the plague. Unfortunately, the great physician provides us with only a brief presentation of the disease, his aim being to supply therapeutic approaches, thus passing over the accurate description of the disease symptoms. Although the reports of some clinical cases treated by Galen lead us to think that the Antonine plague was caused by smallpox, palaeopathological confirmation is lacking. Some archaeological evidence (such as terracotta finds) from Italy might reinforce this opinion. In these finds, some details can be observed, suggesting the artist's purpose to represent the classic smallpox pustules, typical signs of the disease. The extent of the epidemic has been extensively debated: the majority of authors agree that the impact of the plague was severe, influencing military conscription, the agricultural and urban economy, and depleting the coffers of the State. The Antonine plague affected ancient Roman traditions, also leaving a mark on artistic expression; a renewal of spirituality and religiousness was recorded. These events created the conditions for the spread of monotheistic religions, such as Mithraism and Christianity. This period, characterized by health, social and economic crises, paved the way for the entry into the Empire of neighbouring barbarian tribes and the recruitment of barbarian troops into the Roman army; these events particularly favoured the cultural and

  12. Common Avian Infection Plagued the Tyrant Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Wolff, Ewan D. S.; Salisbury, Steven W.; Horner, John R.; Varricchio, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Tyrannosaurus rex and other tyrannosaurid fossils often display multiple, smooth-edged full-thickness erosive lesions on the mandible, either unilaterally or bilaterally. The cause of these lesions in the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen FMNH PR2081 (known informally by the name ‘Sue’) has previously been attributed to actinomycosis, a bacterial bone infection, or bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted an extensive survey of tyrannosaurid specimens and identified ten individuals with full-thickness erosive lesions. These lesions were described, measured and photographed for comparison with one another. We also conducted an extensive survey of related archosaurs for similar lesions. We show here that these lesions are consistent with those caused by an avian parasitic infection called trichomonosis, which causes similar abnormalities on the mandible of modern birds, in particular raptors. Conclusions/Significance This finding represents the first evidence for the ancient evolutionary origin of an avian transmissible disease in non-avian theropod dinosaurs. It also provides a valuable insight into the palaeobiology of these now extinct animals. Based on the frequency with which these lesions occur, we hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan. For tyrannosaurid populations, the only non-avian dinosaur group that show trichomonosis-type lesions, it is likely that the disease became endemic and spread as a result of antagonistic intraspecific behavior, consumption of prey infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan and possibly even cannibalism. The severity of trichomonosis-related lesions in specimens such as Tyrannosaurus rex FMNH PR2081 and Tyrannosaurus rex MOR 980, strongly suggests that these animals died as a direct result of this disease, mostly likely through starvation. PMID:19789646

  13. Ancient Egyptian doctors and the nature of the biblical plagues.

    PubMed

    Trevisanato, Siro Igino

    2005-01-01

    Paragraph 55 of the London Medical Papyrus describes burns derived from red waters and which later became infected with larvae in the wounds. The prescribed treatment for the burn is unusual as it calls for no rinsing and requires bandaging with alkaline materials only. Refraining from washing in the Nile (the single most readily available source of water in ancient Egypt), and the use of alkali-neutralizing agents indicates that the red caustic waters came from the river, and were acid in nature. A red, acid Nile is consistent with the first biblical plague of Egypt, which killed fish, and kept people from drinking from the river. In turn, the sulfate-laced waters of the medical document also offer a plausible insight into the subsequent biblical plagues. Amphibians would have stayed away from the deadly river, left to die on the banks, just as described in the second biblical plague. Similarly, the larvae in the wounds mentioned by the medical document re-echo the third and fourth biblical plagues: the kînnîm invertebrates and the subsequent 'arob (varied insects) are consistent with larvae and the subsequent adults thereof. In pre-industrial Ancient Egypt, sulfates from a massive volcanic fall out provide the simplest and most exhaustive origin for such waters. A massive precipitation that would account for the waters in the medical document and the biblical texts is known from sediments at the bottom of lakes along the Nile Delta. The site is downwind from the island of Santorini, and the deposit of volcanic ashes took place during the Middle Bronze Age, i.e. at a time consistent with the eruption at the Greek volcanic island.

  14. The Eleventh Plague: The Politics of Biological and Chemical Warfare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovac, Jeffrey

    1997-07-01

    Leonard A. Cole. W. H. Freeman: New York, 1997. 250 pp. ISBN 0-7167-2950-4. $22.95 hc. The Eleventh Plague begins with a recitation of the ten plagues brought down upon Egypt, part of the Passover Seder celebrated each spring by Jews all over the world. Spring is also the anniversary of the first use of chemical weapons. On April 22, 1915, German soldiers released chlorine gas from 5,739 cylinders installed along the battle line at Ypres in southeastern Belgium. Germany achieved complete surprise. The gas drifted across no man's land, causing widespread terror and creating ten thousand serious casualties and five thousand deaths. Chlorine, of course, was a poor weapon, easily neutralized, but German scientists, including future Nobel laureates Fritz Haber, Otto Hahn, and James Franck, and the German chemical industry created ever more dangerous chemical weapons, culminating with the introduction of mustard gas in 1917. Despite cries of moral outrage, the Allies countered with their own chemical weapons efforts. The eleventh plague had been unleashed.

  15. [Marcus Aurelius Antonius (121-180AD), philosopher and Roman emperor, and Galen's plague].

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Sanz, Agustín

    2012-11-01

    The study of the aetiologies of diseases in Ancient Times is usually a speculative intellectual exercise. When some authors attribute a specific aetiology to an old disease, there is a great risk of committing a methodological error, known as presentism by the modern historiography. The authority of the investigator, more than the weight of the scientific truth, is usually the reason why the diagnosis has remained over the years. The great epidemic of the years 164-165AD and afterwards, could have been smallpox (haemorrhagic form). Claude Galen, the famous doctor, described the symptoms in several books of his great Opera Omnia. For this reason, it is currently known among the scholars as Galen's plague. The epidemic was described for the first time in Seleucia (Mesopotamia). Until now, the actual geographic origin is unknown. We propose here that the beginning might be the kingdom of the old Han dynasty (now the Chinese Popular Republic). The epidemic swept the Roman Empire, from the east to the west, and from the southern to the northern borders. An immediate consequence of the infection was a high morbidity and mortality. In this sense, Galen's epidemic was one of the many factors that caused the fall and destruction of the Roman Empire. On the other hand, there is a general agreement among historians, biographers and researchers that the philosopher emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180AD was affected by the infection in the epidemic wave of 164-165AD. The death of Marcus Aurelius occurred on March 17 in the year 180AD, in Vindobonne, or perhaps Sirminium (near to Vienna). Many authors propose that the cause of the emperor's death was the same epidemic. We consider that it is not possible to demonstrate any of those speculative diagnoses. Finally, the epidemic of 189-190AD, that we have named of Commodus, was probably a different disease to the Galen's plague. There were several kinds of animals affected (anthropozoonoses). In this sense, this infection

  16. [Marcus Aurelius Antonius (121-180AD), philosopher and Roman emperor, and Galen's plague].

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Sanz, Agustín

    2012-11-01

    The study of the aetiologies of diseases in Ancient Times is usually a speculative intellectual exercise. When some authors attribute a specific aetiology to an old disease, there is a great risk of committing a methodological error, known as presentism by the modern historiography. The authority of the investigator, more than the weight of the scientific truth, is usually the reason why the diagnosis has remained over the years. The great epidemic of the years 164-165AD and afterwards, could have been smallpox (haemorrhagic form). Claude Galen, the famous doctor, described the symptoms in several books of his great Opera Omnia. For this reason, it is currently known among the scholars as Galen's plague. The epidemic was described for the first time in Seleucia (Mesopotamia). Until now, the actual geographic origin is unknown. We propose here that the beginning might be the kingdom of the old Han dynasty (now the Chinese Popular Republic). The epidemic swept the Roman Empire, from the east to the west, and from the southern to the northern borders. An immediate consequence of the infection was a high morbidity and mortality. In this sense, Galen's epidemic was one of the many factors that caused the fall and destruction of the Roman Empire. On the other hand, there is a general agreement among historians, biographers and researchers that the philosopher emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180AD was affected by the infection in the epidemic wave of 164-165AD. The death of Marcus Aurelius occurred on March 17 in the year 180AD, in Vindobonne, or perhaps Sirminium (near to Vienna). Many authors propose that the cause of the emperor's death was the same epidemic. We consider that it is not possible to demonstrate any of those speculative diagnoses. Finally, the epidemic of 189-190AD, that we have named of Commodus, was probably a different disease to the Galen's plague. There were several kinds of animals affected (anthropozoonoses). In this sense, this infection

  17. Sylvatic plague vaccine: A new tool for conservation of threatened and endangered species?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbott, Rachel C.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Bunck, Christine M.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2012-01-01

    Plague, a disease caused by Yersinia pestis introduced into North America about 100 years ago, is devastating to prairie dogs and the highly endangered black-footed ferret. Current attempts to control plague in these species have historically relied on insecticidal dusting of prairie dog burrows to kill the fleas that spread the disease. Although successful in curtailing outbreaks in most instances, this method of plague control has significant limitations. Alternative approaches to plague management are being tested, including vaccination. Currently, all black-footed ferret kits released for reintroduction are vaccinated against plague with an injectable protein vaccine, and even wild-born kits are captured and vaccinated at some locations. In addition, a novel, virally vectored, oral vaccine to prevent plague in wild prairie dogs has been developed and will soon be tested as an alternative, preemptive management tool. If demonstrated to be successful, oral vaccination of selected prairie dog populations could decrease the occurrence of plague epizootics in key locations, thereby reducing the source of bacteria while avoiding the indiscriminate environmental effects of dusting. Just as rabies in wild carnivores has largely been controlled through an active surveillance and oral vaccination program, we believe an integrated plague management strategy would be similarly enhanced with the addition of a cost-effective, bait-delivered, sylvatic plague vaccine for prairie dogs. Control of plague in prairie dogs, and potentially other rodents, would significantly advance prairie dog conservation and black-footed ferret recovery.

  18. Sylvatic plague vaccine: a new tool for conservation of threatened and endangered species?

    PubMed

    Abbott, Rachel C; Osorio, Jorge E; Bunck, Christine M; Rocke, Tonie E

    2012-09-01

    Plague, a disease caused by Yersinia pestis introduced into North America about 100 years ago, is devastating to prairie dogs and the highly endangered black-footed ferret. Current attempts to control plague in these species have historically relied on insecticidal dusting of prairie dog burrows to kill the fleas that spread the disease. Although successful in curtailing outbreaks in most instances, this method of plague control has significant limitations. Alternative approaches to plague management are being tested, including vaccination. Currently, all black-footed ferret kits released for reintroduction are vaccinated against plague with an injectable protein vaccine, and even wild-born kits are captured and vaccinated at some locations. In addition, a novel, virally vectored, oral vaccine to prevent plague in wild prairie dogs has been developed and will soon be tested as an alternative, preemptive management tool. If demonstrated to be successful, oral vaccination of selected prairie dog populations could decrease the occurrence of plague epizootics in key locations, thereby reducing the source of bacteria while avoiding the indiscriminate environmental effects of dusting. Just as rabies in wild carnivores has largely been controlled through an active surveillance and oral vaccination program, we believe an integrated plague management strategy would be similarly enhanced with the addition of a cost-effective, bait-delivered, sylvatic plague vaccine for prairie dogs. Control of plague in prairie dogs, and potentially other rodents, would significantly advance prairie dog conservation and black-footed ferret recovery. PMID:22846964

  19. Sylvatic plague vaccine: a new tool for conservation of threatened and endangered species?

    PubMed

    Abbott, Rachel C; Osorio, Jorge E; Bunck, Christine M; Rocke, Tonie E

    2012-09-01

    Plague, a disease caused by Yersinia pestis introduced into North America about 100 years ago, is devastating to prairie dogs and the highly endangered black-footed ferret. Current attempts to control plague in these species have historically relied on insecticidal dusting of prairie dog burrows to kill the fleas that spread the disease. Although successful in curtailing outbreaks in most instances, this method of plague control has significant limitations. Alternative approaches to plague management are being tested, including vaccination. Currently, all black-footed ferret kits released for reintroduction are vaccinated against plague with an injectable protein vaccine, and even wild-born kits are captured and vaccinated at some locations. In addition, a novel, virally vectored, oral vaccine to prevent plague in wild prairie dogs has been developed and will soon be tested as an alternative, preemptive management tool. If demonstrated to be successful, oral vaccination of selected prairie dog populations could decrease the occurrence of plague epizootics in key locations, thereby reducing the source of bacteria while avoiding the indiscriminate environmental effects of dusting. Just as rabies in wild carnivores has largely been controlled through an active surveillance and oral vaccination program, we believe an integrated plague management strategy would be similarly enhanced with the addition of a cost-effective, bait-delivered, sylvatic plague vaccine for prairie dogs. Control of plague in prairie dogs, and potentially other rodents, would significantly advance prairie dog conservation and black-footed ferret recovery.

  20. Testing the generality of a trophic-cascade model for plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collinge, S.K.; Johnson, W.C.; Ray, C.; Matchett, R.; Grensten, J.; Cully, J.F.; Gage, K.L.; Kosoy, M.Y.; Loye, J.E.; Martin, A.P.

    2005-01-01

    Climate may affect the dynamics of infectious diseases by shifting pathogen, vector, or host species abundance, population dynamics, or community interactions. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are highly susceptible to plague, yet little is known about factors that influence the dynamics of plague epizootics in prairie dogs. We investigated temporal patterns of plague occurrence in black-tailed prairie dogs to assess the generality of links between climate and plague occurrence found in previous analyses of human plague cases. We examined long-term data on climate and plague occurrence in prairie dog colonies within two study areas. Multiple regression analyses revealed that plague occurrence in prairie dogs was not associated with climatic variables in our Colorado study area. In contrast, plague occurrence was strongly associated with climatic variables in our Montana study area. The models with most support included a positive association with precipitation in April-July of the previous year, in addition to a positive association with the number of "warm" days and a negative association with the number of "hot" days in the same year as reported plague events. We conclude that the timing and magnitude of precipitation and temperature may affect plague occurrence in some geographic areas. The best climatic predictors of plague occurrence in prairie dogs within our Montana study area are quite similar to the best climatic predictors of human plague cases in the southwestern United States. This correspondence across regions and species suggests support for a (temperature-modulated) trophic-cascade model for plague, including climatic effects on rodent abundance, flea abundance, and pathogen transmission, at least in regions that experience strong climatic signals. ?? 2005 EcoHealth Journal Consortium.

  1. Identification of duck plague virus by polymerase chain reaction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hansen, W.R.; Brown, Sean E.; Nashold, S.W.; Knudson, D.L.

    1999-01-01

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for detecting duck plague virus. A 765-bp EcoRI fragment cloned from the genome of the duck plague vaccine (DP-VAC) virus was sequenced for PCR primer development. The fragment sequence was found by GenBank alignment searches to be similar to the 3a?? ends of an undefined open reading frame and the gene for DNA polymerase protein in other herpesviruses. Three of four primer sets were found to be specific for the DP-VAC virus and 100% (7/7) of field isolates but did not amplify DNA from inclusion body disease of cranes virus. The specificity of one primer set was tested with genome templates from other avian herpesviruses, including those from a golden eagle, bald eagle, great horned owl, snowy owl, peregrine falcon, prairie falcon, pigeon, psittacine, and chicken (infectious laryngotracheitis), but amplicons were not produced. Hence, this PCR test is highly specific for duck plague virus DNA. Two primer sets were able to detect 1 fg of DNA from the duck plague vaccine strain, equivalent to five genome copies. In addition, the ratio of tissue culture infectious doses to genome copies of duck plague vaccine virus from infected duck embryo cells was determined to be 1:100, making the PCR assay 20 times more sensitive than tissue culture for detecting duck plague virus. The speed, sensitivity, and specificity of this PCR provide a greatly improved diagnostic and research tool for studying the epizootiology of duck plague. /// Se desarroll?? una prueba de reacci??n en cadena por la polimerasa para detectar el virus de la peste del pato. Un fragmento EcoRI de 765 pares de bases clonado del genoma del virus vacunal de la peste del pato fue secuenciado para la obtenci??n de los iniciadores de la prueba de la reacci??n en cadena por la polimerasa. En investigaciones de alineaci??n en el banco de genes ('GenBank') se encontr?? que la secuencia del fragmento era similar a los extremos 3a?? de un marco de lectura abierto

  2. Identification of Chinese plague foci from long-term epidemiological data.

    PubMed

    Ben-Ari, Tamara; Neerinckx, Simon; Agier, Lydiane; Cazelles, Bernard; Xu, Lei; Zhang, Zhibin; Fang, Xiye; Wang, Shuchun; Liu, Qiyong; Stenseth, Nils C

    2012-05-22

    Carrying out statistical analysis over an extensive dataset of human plague reports in Chinese villages from 1772 to 1964, we identified plague endemic territories in China (i.e., plague foci). Analyses rely on (i) a clustering method that groups time series based on their time-frequency resemblances and (ii) an ecological niche model that helps identify plague suitable territories characterized by value ranges for a set of predefined environmental variables. Results from both statistical tools indicate the existence of two disconnected plague territories corresponding to Northern and Southern China. Altogether, at least four well defined independent foci are identified. Their contours compare favorably with field observations. Potential and limitations of inferring plague foci and dynamics using epidemiological data is discussed.

  3. Recombinant raccoon pox vaccine protects mice against lethal plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osorio, J.E.; Powell, T.D.; Frank, R.S.; Moss, K.; Haanes, E.J.; Smith, S.R.; Rocke, T.E.; Stinchcomb, D.T.

    2003-01-01

    Using a raccoon poxvirus (RCN) expression system, we have developed new recombinant vaccines that can protect mice against lethal plague infection. We tested the effects of a translation enhancer (EMCV-IRES) in combination with a secretory (tPA) signal or secretory (tPA) and membrane anchoring (CHV-gG) signals on in vitro antigen expression of F1 antigen in tissue culture and the induction of antibody responses and protection against Yersinia pestis challenge in mice. The RCN vector successfully expressed the F1 protein of Y. pestis in vitro. In addition, the level of expression was increased by the insertion of the EMCV-IRES and combinations of this and the secretory signal or secretory and anchoring signals. These recombinant viruses generated protective immune responses that resulted in survival of 80% of vaccinated mice upon challenge with Y. pestis. Of the RCN-based vaccines we tested, the RCN-IRES-tPA-YpF1 recombinant construct was the most efficacious. Mice vaccinated with this construct withstood challenge with as many as 1.5 million colony forming units of Y. pestis (7.7??104LD50). Interestingly, vaccination with F1 fused to the anchoring signal (RCN-IRES-tPA-YpF1-gG) elicited significant anti-F1 antibody titers, but failed to protect mice from plague challenge. Our studies demonstrate, in vitro and in vivo, the potential importance of the EMCV-IRES and secretory signals in vaccine design. These molecular tools provide a new approach for improving the efficacy of vaccines. In addition, these novel recombinant vaccines could have human, veterinary, and wildlife applications in the prevention of plague. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. The plague of Athens: an ancient act of bioterrorism?

    PubMed

    Papagrigorakis, Manolis J; Synodinos, Philippos N; Stathi, Angeliki; Skevaki, Chrysanthi L; Zachariadou, Levantia

    2013-09-01

    Recent data implicate Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi as a causative pathogen of the Plague of Athens during the Peloponnesian War (430-426 bc). According to Thucydides, the sudden outbreak of the disease may link to poisoning of the water reservoirs by the Spartans. The siege of a city was aimed at exhausting the supplies of a population, which often led to the outbreak and spread of epidemics. Poisoning of the water reservoirs of a besieged city as an act of bioterrorism would probably shorten the necessary time for such conditions to appear.

  5. The plague of Athens: an ancient act of bioterrorism?

    PubMed

    Papagrigorakis, Manolis J; Synodinos, Philippos N; Stathi, Angeliki; Skevaki, Chrysanthi L; Zachariadou, Levantia

    2013-09-01

    Recent data implicate Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi as a causative pathogen of the Plague of Athens during the Peloponnesian War (430-426 bc). According to Thucydides, the sudden outbreak of the disease may link to poisoning of the water reservoirs by the Spartans. The siege of a city was aimed at exhausting the supplies of a population, which often led to the outbreak and spread of epidemics. Poisoning of the water reservoirs of a besieged city as an act of bioterrorism would probably shorten the necessary time for such conditions to appear. PMID:24041196

  6. Duck plague epizootics in the United States, 1967-1995

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Converse, K.A.; Kidd, Gregory A.

    2001-01-01

    In 1967, the first confirmed diagnosis of duck plague (DP) in the USA was made from pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) on commercial duck farms on Long Island, New York. Within 10 mo, DP was confirmed as the cause of death in migratory waterfowl on a Long Island bay. This paper reviews 120 DP epizootics reported from 1967 to 1995 that involved waterfowl species native to North America or were reported in areas with free-flying waterfowl at risk. Duck plague epizootics occurred in 21 states with the greatest number reported in Maryland (29), New York (18), California (16), and Pennsylvania (13). The greatest frequency of epizootics (86%) was detected during the months of March to June. At least 40 waterfowl species were affected with the highest frequency of epizootics reported in captive or captive-reared ducks including muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata) (68%), mallard ducks (A. platyrhynchos) (18%) and black ducks (A. rubripes) (14%). The greatest number of waterfowl died in three epizootics that involved primarily migratory birds in 1967 and 1994 in New York (USA) and 1973 in South Dakota (USA). The greatest number of DP epizootics reported since 1967 appear to have involved flocks of non-migratory rather than migratory waterfowl; therefore, in our opinion it remains unknown if DP is enzootic in either non-migratory or migratory waterfowl.

  7. [The approbation of technique of mass spectrometry with matrix-activated laser desorption/ionization for identification of plague agent].

    PubMed

    Afanas'ev, M V; Ostiak, A S; Balakhonov, S V

    2014-08-01

    The study of sampling of strains of Y. pestis of main and altaic subspecies was implemented. The modern technique of identification of microorganisms was applied using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis. The evaluation of biological safety of method of sampling preparation was implemented. To supplement the identification base "BioTyper" the spectrum of typical strains of Y. pestis were obtained. The enhanced identification base was used to evaluate possibilities of application of MALDI-TOF technology for identification and taxonomic differentiation of Y. pestis from other representatives of genus of Yersinia. In the process of study a complete concordance of results of mass spectrometry identification and classic cultural method was observed. On the basis of mass spectrometry characteristic of analyzed sampling the differentiation between strains of Y. pestis of subspecies pestis and strains of subspecies altaica was implemented. The study results testify the effectiveness of application of mass spectrometry analysis for reliable interspecies and intraspecific differentiation of plague agent. The simplicity and velocity of sampling preparation and implementation of analysis and low cost of active storage allow considering the MALDI-TOF technology of mass spectrometry identification as highly perspective method for laboratory diagnostic of plague agent.

  8. Response of mountain plovers to plague-driven dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sylvatic plague is a major factor influencing prairie dog colony dynamics in the western Great Plains. We studied the nesting response of the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus), a grassland bird that nests on prairie dog colonies, to plague-driven dynamics of prairie dog colonies at three sites i...

  9. Spread of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs is associated with colony spatial characteristics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, T.L.; Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.; Frey, C.M.; Sandercock, B.K.

    2011-01-01

    Sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) is an exotic pathogen that is highly virulent in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and causes widespread colony losses and individual mortality rates >95%. We investigated colony spatial characteristics that may influence inter-colony transmission of plague at 3 prairie dog colony complexes in the Great Plains. The 4 spatial characteristics we considered include: colony size, Euclidean distance to nearest neighboring colony, colony proximity index, and distance to nearest drainage (dispersal) corridor. We used multi-state mark-recapture models to determine the relationship between these colony characteristics and probability of plague transmission among prairie dog colonies. Annual mapping of colonies and mark-recapture analyses of disease dynamics in natural colonies led to 4 main results: 1) plague outbreaks exhibited high spatial and temporal variation, 2) the site of initiation of epizootic plague may have substantially influenced the subsequent inter-colony spread of plague, 3) the long-term effect of plague on individual colonies differed among sites because of how individuals and colonies were distributed, and 4) colony spatial characteristics were related to the probability of infection at all sites although the relative importance and direction of relationships varied among sites. Our findings suggest that conventional prairie dog conservation management strategies, including promoting large, highly connected colonies, may need to be altered in the presence of plague. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  10. [The rodent. Akodon arviculoides, Wagner, 1842 (Cricetidae)--importance in plague foci in Brazil].

    PubMed

    de Almeida, C R; de Almeida, A M; Brasil, D P; Dantas Sobrinho, J; Leal, M A

    1986-01-01

    The occurrence of the rodent Akodon arviculoides Wagner, 1842 in the plague focus of the "Agreste" region of the State of Pernambuco and a report on its ability for survival, reproduction and development in captivity, its susceptibility to Yersinia pestis infection and the role of this rodent species in Brazilian plague foci are reported. PMID:3302594

  11. Invasive crayfish and crayfish plague on the move: first detection of the plague agent Aphanomyces astaci in the Romanian Danube.

    PubMed

    Pârvulescu, Lucian; Schrimpf, Anne; Kozubíková, Eva; Cabanillas Resino, Sara; Vrålstad, Trude; Petrusek, Adam; Schulz, Ralf

    2012-02-17

    Native European crayfish, such as Astacus leptodactylus, are threatened, among other factors, by the crayfish plague agent Aphanomyces astaci, dispersed by invasive North American crayfish. Two of these invaders, Pacifastacus leniusculus and Orconectes limosus, have extended their distribution in the River Danube catchment; the latter was detected for the first time in Romania in 2008. We monitored, at monthly intervals for over 2 yr, occurrence of native A. leptodactylus and invasive O. limosus at 6 sites on the Romanian Danube and checked for the invasive species in 4 of its tributaries. Between January 2009 and March 2011, the relative abundances of O. limosus steadily increased with time, while the native A. leptodactylus dramatically decreased in abundance. O. limosus expanded downstream at a rate of ca. 15 km yr-1; in August 2011, it was already present in the upper 105 km of the Romanian Danube. An agent-specific real-time PCR analyses demonstrated the presence of A. astaci DNA in at least 32% of the analysed invasive (n = 71) and 41% of the native (n = 49) crayfish coexisting in the Danube. Furthermore, A. astaci was also detected in A. leptodactylus captured about 70 km downstream of the O. limosus invasion front (at the time of sampling). Assuming a steady rate of expansion, O. limosus may invade the sensitive Danube delta area in the mid-2060s, even without long-distance dispersal. The crayfish plague agent, however, may reach the delta substantially earlier, through dispersal downstream among populations of native crayfish.

  12. Eighteenth century Yersinia pestis genomes reveal the long-term persistence of an historical plague focus.

    PubMed

    Bos, Kirsten I; Herbig, Alexander; Sahl, Jason; Waglechner, Nicholas; Fourment, Mathieu; Forrest, Stephen A; Klunk, Jennifer; Schuenemann, Verena J; Poinar, Debi; Kuch, Melanie; Golding, G Brian; Dutour, Olivier; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Holmes, Edward C; Krause, Johannes; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2016-01-01

    The 14th-18th century pandemic of Yersinia pestis caused devastating disease outbreaks in Europe for almost 400 years. The reasons for plague's persistence and abrupt disappearance in Europe are poorly understood, but could have been due to either the presence of now-extinct plague foci in Europe itself, or successive disease introductions from other locations. Here we present five Y. pestis genomes from one of the last European outbreaks of plague, from 1722 in Marseille, France. The lineage identified has not been found in any extant Y. pestis foci sampled to date, and has its ancestry in strains obtained from victims of the 14th century Black Death. These data suggest the existence of a previously uncharacterized historical plague focus that persisted for at least three centuries. We propose that this disease source may have been responsible for the many resurgences of plague in Europe following the Black Death. PMID:26795402

  13. Climate-driven introduction of the Black Death and successive plague reintroductions into Europe.

    PubMed

    Schmid, Boris V; Büntgen, Ulf; Easterday, W Ryan; Ginzler, Christian; Walløe, Lars; Bramanti, Barbara; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2015-03-10

    The Black Death, originating in Asia, arrived in the Mediterranean harbors of Europe in 1347 CE, via the land and sea trade routes of the ancient Silk Road system. This epidemic marked the start of the second plague pandemic, which lasted in Europe until the early 19th century. This pandemic is generally understood as the consequence of a singular introduction of Yersinia pestis, after which the disease established itself in European rodents over four centuries. To locate these putative plague reservoirs, we studied the climate fluctuations that preceded regional plague epidemics, based on a dataset of 7,711 georeferenced historical plague outbreaks and 15 annually resolved tree-ring records from Europe and Asia. We provide evidence for repeated climate-driven reintroductions of the bacterium into European harbors from reservoirs in Asia, with a delay of 15 ± 1 y. Our analysis finds no support for the existence of permanent plague reservoirs in medieval Europe.

  14. Plagued by doubt and viral misinformation: the need for evidence-based use of historical disease images.

    PubMed

    Jones, Lori; Nevell, Richard

    2016-10-01

    The digitisation of historical disease images and their widespread availability on the internet have been a boon to education and research, but with unintended consequences, including the misrepresentation of infectious diseases in the past and the viral spread of misinformation. Many medieval images containing scenes of infectious disease come from non-medical sources and are not meant to convey any medical meaning. Erroneous modern captions have led to the publication of several historical images labelled as depictions of the plague, although artistic and textual evidence shows that they are not. Mislabelled images lose their intended historical narrative, and their use creates a distorted view of the past and of the disease in question. Scholars should give the same careful consideration to an image's evidentiary context that they would insist on giving to all other forms of evidence. PMID:27522232

  15. Plagued by doubt and viral misinformation: the need for evidence-based use of historical disease images.

    PubMed

    Jones, Lori; Nevell, Richard

    2016-10-01

    The digitisation of historical disease images and their widespread availability on the internet have been a boon to education and research, but with unintended consequences, including the misrepresentation of infectious diseases in the past and the viral spread of misinformation. Many medieval images containing scenes of infectious disease come from non-medical sources and are not meant to convey any medical meaning. Erroneous modern captions have led to the publication of several historical images labelled as depictions of the plague, although artistic and textual evidence shows that they are not. Mislabelled images lose their intended historical narrative, and their use creates a distorted view of the past and of the disease in question. Scholars should give the same careful consideration to an image's evidentiary context that they would insist on giving to all other forms of evidence.

  16. [Transylvanian refugees and the plague in 1708-1709].

    PubMed

    Kis, D

    1993-01-01

    Owing to the overwhelming military power of the Habsburg forces Transylvanian sympathizers fled twice to Hungary during the Rákóczi uprising (1704-1711): first in 1704-1706 and then in 1707-1711. In the autumn of 1707 they numbered as much as ten thousand people, and according to the decrees of the diet at Kisvárda, they were settled down in smaller units in around Szabolcs, Szatmár, Bereg, Ung, Ugocsa and Máramaros counties. Though always short of money, the leaders of the ukprising created a system that satisfied the basic needs of these refugees. By the end of the rebellion, nevertheless, as the territory controlled by Rákóczi's armies decreased considerably, the refugees were forced to move on and on, which certainly led to a corruption of their food supplies, accommodation and hygienic conditions. The worst among all came with the plague. The author examines the effects of the epidemic and the counter-measures taken by the individual and the authorities of the uprising. Kis has consulted the main Hungarian books of that age that referred to black death (among others Anna Zay's Herbarium [1719], Samuel Köleséri's Pestis Daicae, György Komáromi Csipkés's Pestis pestise, Ferenc Pápai Páriz's Pax Corporis and A [estos betegség etc., and Máté Tsanaki's A Döghalálról, etc.), as well as many archival papers (the correspondence of Count Sándor Károlyi with his wife Krisztina Barkóczy, thos of General Bercsényi to his wife and Prince Rákóczi, and some doctors' reports, etc.). His main source, however, is Zsigmond Szaniszló's diary. Szaniszló was a former fobiró (chief-sheriff) of the Transsylvanian Torda city, an Anti-Trinitarian stronghold, and remained a leader of his people during the emigration. According to his notes, which the author has compared with the data given by the others, there were hardly any measures taken against plague in this community. Although Szaniszló gives detailed descriptions about the everyday life of the

  17. Origin of the old testament plagues: explications and implications.

    PubMed

    Ehrenkranz, N Joel; Sampson, Deborah A

    2008-03-01

    Analyses of past disasters may supply insights to mitigate the impact of recurrences. In this context, we offer a unifying causative theory of Old Testament plagues, which has present day public health implications. We propose the root cause to have been an aberrant El Niño-Southern Oscillation teleconnection that brought unseasonable and progressive climate warming along the ancient Mediterranean littoral, including the coast of biblical Egypt, which, in turn, initiated the serial catastrophes of biblical sequence - in particular arthropod-borne and arthropod-caused diseases. Located beyond the boundary of focal climate change, inland Goshen would not have been similarly affected. Implicit in this analysis is a framework to consider a possibility of present day recurrence of similar catastrophes and their impact upon essential public services.

  18. Origin of the Old Testament Plagues: Explications and Implications

    PubMed Central

    Ehrenkranz, N. Joel; Sampson, Deborah A.

    2008-01-01

    Analyses of past disasters may supply insights to mitigate the impact of recurrences. In this context, we offer a unifying causative theory of Old Testament plagues, which has present day public health implications. We propose the root cause to have been an aberrant El Niño-Southern Oscillation teleconnection that brought unseasonable and progressive climate warming along the ancient Mediterranean littoral, including the coast of biblical Egypt, which, in turn, initiated the serial catastrophes of biblical sequence — in particular arthropod-borne and arthropod-caused diseases. Located beyond the boundary of focal climate change, inland Goshen would not have been similarly affected. Implicit in this analysis is a framework to consider a possibility of present day recurrence of similar catastrophes and their impact upon essential public services. PMID:18604309

  19. [Transylvanian refugees and the plague in 1708-1709].

    PubMed

    Kis, D

    1993-01-01

    Owing to the overwhelming military power of the Habsburg forces Transylvanian sympathizers fled twice to Hungary during the Rákóczi uprising (1704-1711): first in 1704-1706 and then in 1707-1711. In the autumn of 1707 they numbered as much as ten thousand people, and according to the decrees of the diet at Kisvárda, they were settled down in smaller units in around Szabolcs, Szatmár, Bereg, Ung, Ugocsa and Máramaros counties. Though always short of money, the leaders of the ukprising created a system that satisfied the basic needs of these refugees. By the end of the rebellion, nevertheless, as the territory controlled by Rákóczi's armies decreased considerably, the refugees were forced to move on and on, which certainly led to a corruption of their food supplies, accommodation and hygienic conditions. The worst among all came with the plague. The author examines the effects of the epidemic and the counter-measures taken by the individual and the authorities of the uprising. Kis has consulted the main Hungarian books of that age that referred to black death (among others Anna Zay's Herbarium [1719], Samuel Köleséri's Pestis Daicae, György Komáromi Csipkés's Pestis pestise, Ferenc Pápai Páriz's Pax Corporis and A [estos betegség etc., and Máté Tsanaki's A Döghalálról, etc.), as well as many archival papers (the correspondence of Count Sándor Károlyi with his wife Krisztina Barkóczy, thos of General Bercsényi to his wife and Prince Rákóczi, and some doctors' reports, etc.). His main source, however, is Zsigmond Szaniszló's diary. Szaniszló was a former fobiró (chief-sheriff) of the Transsylvanian Torda city, an Anti-Trinitarian stronghold, and remained a leader of his people during the emigration. According to his notes, which the author has compared with the data given by the others, there were hardly any measures taken against plague in this community. Although Szaniszló gives detailed descriptions about the everyday life of the

  20. Decline of maternal antibodies to plague in Norway rats.

    PubMed

    Williams, J E; Eisenberg, G H; Cavanaugh, D C

    1977-02-01

    The decline of maternal antibodies to the fraciton I antigen of Yersinia pestis was investigated in newly weaned Rattus norvegicus obtained from dams vaccinated with strain EV76(51F) of Y. pestis. IHA titre decreased by 50% each 7-3 days and CF titre declined 50% each 10-0 days in young rats. An analysis of available data indicated that maternal IHA and CF antibodies could persist to 3 months of age. Therefore, positive serologic reactions in young R. norvegicus, detected in the course of serological surveys, could be the result either of active immunization after exposure to the plague bacillus or of transient passive immunization (i.e. maternal antibody). PMID:264498

  1. A bibliography of literature pertaining to plague (Yersinia pestis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellison, Laura E.; Frank, Megan K. Eberhardt

    2011-01-01

    Plague is an acute and often fatal zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Y. pestis mainly cycles between small mammals and their fleas; however, it has the potential to infect humans and frequently causes fatalities if left untreated. It is often considered a disease of the past; however, since the late 1800s, plagueis geographic range has expanded greatly, posing new threats in previously unaffected regions of the world, including the Western United States. A literature search was conducted using Internet resources and databases. The keywords chosen for the searches included plague, Yersinia pestis, management, control, wildlife, prairie dogs, fleas, North America, and mammals. Keywords were used alone or in combination with the other terms. Although this search pertains mostly to North America, citations were included from the international research community, as well. Databases and search engines used included Google (http://www.google.com), Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com), SciVerse Scopus (http://www.scopus.com), ISI Web of Knowledge (http://apps.isiknowledge.com), and the USGS Library's Digital Desktop (http://library.usgs.gov). The literature-cited sections of manuscripts obtained from keyword searches were cross-referenced to identify additional citations or gray literature that was missed by the Internet search engines. This Open-File Report, published as an Internet-accessible bibliography, is intended to be periodically updated with new citations or older references that may have been missed during this compilation. Hence, the authors would be grateful to receive notice of any new or old papers that the audience (users) think need to be included.

  2. [PLAGUE IN PALERMO IN 1575 AND SOCIAL CONTROL].

    PubMed

    Malta, Renato; Salerno, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    The work moves from the low mortality of the plague of Palermo in 1575 - 1576 in comparison to similar outbreaks and contemporary analysis of the activity of Ingrassia, a man that the city government had wanted at his side. The extraordinary health interventions, including those to favor of the predisposition of health building to isolation, gears for a more wide-ranging than the traditional one. The isolation adopted by Ingrassia wasn't a novelty because it was already in use half a century earlier, as the Previdelli wrote. We assume that the population in crisis, hungry and out of work for the huge military expenditure of king Philip II, would have prompted the City government to use the outbreak for the purposes of . At the same goal always answered in the sixteenth century the establishment of the parish, created to divide the territory in order to guide and control the practice of the faith of the people. Ingrassia, a man next to political power, which in turn welded with the spiritual power in order to implement the Catholic Counter-Reformation, justified the coercive initiatives towards the population. The practice of medicine, as still happens today, is affected by the conditions of the policy, raising one of the fundamental principles of bioethics, the question ofthe independence ofthe doctor: a physician divided by the duty to represent the legitimate interests of the patient and those of political power, perhaps not always shared. It is a new interpretation of the activity of Ingrassia and his results than the plague.

  3. Globalism of Outbreak and Prevalence of Cattle Plague(Rinderpest) around Byengjahoran (1636-1638).

    PubMed

    Kim, Dong Jin; Yoo, Han Sang

    2013-04-01

    This study reviewed the outbreak and prevalence of cattle plague around Byeongjahoran from the perspective of international war in East Asia. First of all, the epidemiological characteristics of cattle plague in Manchuria where the outbreak of cattle plague was first reported around Byeongjahoran were analyzed. From the study, it was found the military activities that Sarhu (Qing) had made during the growth into Empire promoted the exchanges of various germs which became naturalized in the regions in Northeast Asia, and that such extreme situation as war made various diseases taken place and dispersed. In particular, because of military activities of Sarhu (Qing), various contagious diseases including smallpox which was prevalent in Inner-Mongolia and Shanxi became prevalent in Manchuria. During the contacts with Chosun after Jeongmyohoran, pathogen occurring Rinderpest was introduced into Manchuria. Favorable conditions for the interactions with various pathogens were provided by frequent contacts with wild animals through hunting and various cultivation groups composed of Manchurians, Mongolians, Han-Chinese and Chosun people. Rinderpest breaking in Chosun around Byeongjahoran was originated in Shenyang in 1636. It was transmitted to cattle in the Korean Peninsula and expanded to Kansai Region. At that time Rinderpest occurred and rapidly expanded in a specific area due to the interactions of pathogens, hosts and environments, and suddenly disappeared because of the extinction and the separation of hosts. It is consistent with the symptoms of modern times 'Rinderpest.' In Chosun it occurred in Pyeongan-do 4 months before the outbreak of Byeongjahoran and gave great damage on the capital area and northern Gyeonggi region. Because of the large scale migration of militaries after Byeongjahoran, Rindpest was expanded to Hasamdo and was terminated in February to April leaving big damages. The damages of Byeongjahoran were very severe. From the statistical records, it

  4. Influence of human activity patterns on epidemiology of plague in Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Hubeau, Marianne; Gulinck, Hubert; Kimaro, Didas N; Hieronimo, Proches; Meliyo, Joel

    2014-07-01

    Human plague has been a recurring public health threat in some villages in the Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania, in the period between 1980 and 2004. Despite intensive past biological and medical research, the reasons for the plague outbreaks in the same set of villages remain unknown. Plague research needs to broaden its scope and formulate new hypotheses. This study was carried out to establish relationships between the nature and the spatial extent of selected human activities on one hand, and the reported plague cases on the other hand. Three outdoor activities namely, fetching water, collecting firewood and going to the market, were selected. Through enquiries the activity patterns related to these activities were mapped in 14 villages. Standard deviation ellipses represent the extent of action spaces. Over 130 activity types were identified and listed. Of these, fetching water, collecting firewood and going to the market were used for further analysis. The results indicate a significant correlation between the plague frequency and the size of these action spaces. Different characteristics of land use and related human activities were correlated with the plague frequency at village and hamlet levels. Significant relationships were found between plague frequency and specific sources of firewood and water, and specific market places.

  5. Plague outbreaks in prairie dog populations explained by percolation thresholds of alternate host abundance

    PubMed Central

    Salkeld, Daniel J.; Salathé, Marcel; Stapp, Paul; Jones, James Holland

    2010-01-01

    Highly lethal pathogens (e.g., hantaviruses, hendra virus, anthrax, or plague) pose unique public-health problems, because they seem to periodically flare into outbreaks before disappearing into long quiescent phases. A key element to their possible control and eradication is being able to understand where they persist in the latent phase and how to identify the conditions that result in sporadic epidemics or epizootics. In American grasslands, plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, exemplifies this quiescent–outbreak pattern, because it sporadically erupts in epizootics that decimate prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies, yet the causes of outbreaks and mechanisms for interepizootic persistence of this disease are poorly understood. Using field data on prairie community ecology, flea behavior, and plague-transmission biology, we find that plague can persist in prairie-dog colonies for prolonged periods, because host movement is highly spatially constrained. The abundance of an alternate host for disease vectors, the grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster), drives plague outbreaks by increasing the connectivity of the prairie dog hosts and therefore, permitting percolation of the disease throughout the primary host population. These results offer an alternative perspective on plague's ecology (i.e., disease transmission exacerbated by alternative hosts) and may have ramifications for plague dynamics in Asia and Africa, where a single main host has traditionally been considered to drive Yersinia ecology. Furthermore, abundance thresholds of alternate hosts may be a key phenomenon determining outbreaks of disease in many multihost-disease systems. PMID:20660742

  6. India's Modern Slaves: Bonded Labor in India and Methods of Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boutros, Heidi

    2005-01-01

    Slavery flourishes in the modern world. In nations plagued by debilitating poverty, individuals unable to afford food, clothing, and shelter may be compelled to make a devastating decision: to sell themselves or their children into slavery. Nowhere in the world is this more common than India. Conservative estimates suggest that there are 10…

  7. The trophic responses of two different rodent-vector-plague systems to climate change.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lei; Schmid, Boris V; Liu, Jun; Si, Xiaoyan; Stenseth, Nils Chr; Zhang, Zhibin

    2015-02-01

    Plague, the causative agent of three devastating pandemics in history, is currently a re-emerging disease, probably due to climate change and other anthropogenic changes. Without understanding the response of plague systems to anthropogenic or climate changes in their trophic web, it is unfeasible to effectively predict years with high risks of plague outbreak, hampering our ability for effective prevention and control of the disease. Here, by using surveillance data, we apply structural equation modelling to reveal the drivers of plague prevalence in two very different rodent systems: those of the solitary Daurian ground squirrel and the social Mongolian gerbil. We show that plague prevalence in the Daurian ground squirrel is not detectably related to its trophic web, and that therefore surveillance efforts should focus on detecting plague directly in this ecosystem. On the other hand, plague in the Mongolian gerbil is strongly embedded in a complex, yet understandable trophic web of climate, vegetation, and rodent and flea densities, making the ecosystem suitable for more sophisticated low-cost surveillance practices, such as remote sensing. As for the trophic webs of the two rodent species, we find that increased vegetation is positively associated with higher temperatures and precipitation for both ecosystems. We furthermore find a positive association between vegetation and ground squirrel density, yet a negative association between vegetation and gerbil density. Our study thus shows how past surveillance records can be used to design and improve existing plague prevention and control measures, by tailoring them to individual plague foci. Such measures are indeed highly needed under present conditions with prevailing climate change.

  8. The trophic responses of two different rodent–vector–plague systems to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Lei; Schmid, Boris V.; Liu, Jun; Si, Xiaoyan; Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Zhang, Zhibin

    2015-01-01

    Plague, the causative agent of three devastating pandemics in history, is currently a re-emerging disease, probably due to climate change and other anthropogenic changes. Without understanding the response of plague systems to anthropogenic or climate changes in their trophic web, it is unfeasible to effectively predict years with high risks of plague outbreak, hampering our ability for effective prevention and control of the disease. Here, by using surveillance data, we apply structural equation modelling to reveal the drivers of plague prevalence in two very different rodent systems: those of the solitary Daurian ground squirrel and the social Mongolian gerbil. We show that plague prevalence in the Daurian ground squirrel is not detectably related to its trophic web, and that therefore surveillance efforts should focus on detecting plague directly in this ecosystem. On the other hand, plague in the Mongolian gerbil is strongly embedded in a complex, yet understandable trophic web of climate, vegetation, and rodent and flea densities, making the ecosystem suitable for more sophisticated low-cost surveillance practices, such as remote sensing. As for the trophic webs of the two rodent species, we find that increased vegetation is positively associated with higher temperatures and precipitation for both ecosystems. We furthermore find a positive association between vegetation and ground squirrel density, yet a negative association between vegetation and gerbil density. Our study thus shows how past surveillance records can be used to design and improve existing plague prevention and control measures, by tailoring them to individual plague foci. Such measures are indeed highly needed under present conditions with prevailing climate change. PMID:25540277

  9. The anti-plague system and the Soviet biological warfare program.

    PubMed

    Zilinskas, Raymond A

    2006-01-01

    The USSR possessed a unique national public health system that included an agency named "anti-plague system." Its mission was to protect the country from highly dangerous diseases of either natural or laboratory etiology. During the 1960s, the anti-plague system became the lead agency of a program to defend against biological warfare, codenamed Project 5. This responsibility grew and by the middle 1970s came to include undertaking tasks for the offensive biological warfare program, codenamed Ferment. This article describes the anti-plague system's activities relevant to both aspects of the Soviet Union's biological warfare program, offense and defense, and analyzes its contributions to each.

  10. Plague in Egypt: Disease biology, history and contemporary analysis: A minireview.

    PubMed

    Lotfy, Wael M

    2015-07-01

    Plague is a zoonotic disease with a high mortality rate in humans. Unfortunately, it is still endemic in some parts of the world. Also, natural foci of the disease are still found in some countries. Thus, there may be a risk of global plague re-emergence. This work reviews plague biology, history of major outbreaks, and threats of disease re-emergence in Egypt. Based on the suspected presence of potential natural foci in the country, the global climate change, and the threat posed by some neighbouring countries disease re-emergence in Egypt should not be excluded. The country is in need for implementation of some preventive measures.

  11. [The Antonine plague: A global pestilence in the II century d.C].

    PubMed

    Sáez, Andrés

    2016-04-01

    The Antonine plague was the first plague affecting globally the Western world. It affected all aspects of life of mankind in the Roman Empire: economics, politics, religion and the culture. The especialists set the mortality rate in the 10% of the population. On the other hand the existence of unified Roman Empire from culturally and territorially helped to spreading the plague as it could similarly occur in our society in a similar pandemic. In conclusion, it is argued that the epidemic was global in a sense of the geographical extension and the effects this had on the population. PMID:27314999

  12. Quinto Tiberio Angelerio and New Measures for Controlling Plague in 16th-Century Alghero, Sardinia

    PubMed Central

    Benedictow, Ole Jørgen; Fornaciari, Gino; Giuffra, Valentina

    2013-01-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, has been responsible for at least 3 pandemics. During 1582–1583, a plague outbreak devastated the seaport of Alghero in Sardinia. By analyzing contemporary medical texts and local documentation, we uncovered the pivotal role played by the Protomedicus of Alghero, Quinto Tiberio Angelerio (1532–1617), in controlling the epidemic. Angelerio imposed rules and antiepidemic measures new to the 16th-century sanitary system of Sardinia. Those measures undoubtedly spared the surrounding districts from the spread of the contagion. Angelerio seems to have been an extremely successful public health officer in the history of plague epidemics in Sardinia. PMID:23968598

  13. Quinto Tiberio Angelerio and new measures for controlling plague in 16th-century Alghero, Sardinia.

    PubMed

    Bianucci, Raffaella; Benedictow, Ole Jørgen; Fornaciari, Gino; Giuffra, Valentina

    2013-01-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, has been responsible for at least 3 pandemics. During 1582-1583, a plague outbreak devastated the seaport of Alghero in Sardinia. By analyzing contemporary medical texts and local documentation, we uncovered the pivotal role played by the Protomedicus of Alghero, Quinto Tiberio Angelerio (1532-1617), in controlling the epidemic. Angelerio imposed rules and antiepidemic measures new to the 16th-century sanitary system of Sardinia. Those measures undoubtedly spared the surrounding districts from the spread of the contagion. Angelerio seems to have been an extremely successful public health officer in the history of plague epidemics in Sardinia. PMID:23968598

  14. Quinto Tiberio Angelerio and new measures for controlling plague in 16th-century Alghero, Sardinia.

    PubMed

    Bianucci, Raffaella; Benedictow, Ole Jørgen; Fornaciari, Gino; Giuffra, Valentina

    2013-01-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, has been responsible for at least 3 pandemics. During 1582-1583, a plague outbreak devastated the seaport of Alghero in Sardinia. By analyzing contemporary medical texts and local documentation, we uncovered the pivotal role played by the Protomedicus of Alghero, Quinto Tiberio Angelerio (1532-1617), in controlling the epidemic. Angelerio imposed rules and antiepidemic measures new to the 16th-century sanitary system of Sardinia. Those measures undoubtedly spared the surrounding districts from the spread of the contagion. Angelerio seems to have been an extremely successful public health officer in the history of plague epidemics in Sardinia.

  15. The anti-plague system and the Soviet biological warfare program.

    PubMed

    Zilinskas, Raymond A

    2006-01-01

    The USSR possessed a unique national public health system that included an agency named "anti-plague system." Its mission was to protect the country from highly dangerous diseases of either natural or laboratory etiology. During the 1960s, the anti-plague system became the lead agency of a program to defend against biological warfare, codenamed Project 5. This responsibility grew and by the middle 1970s came to include undertaking tasks for the offensive biological warfare program, codenamed Ferment. This article describes the anti-plague system's activities relevant to both aspects of the Soviet Union's biological warfare program, offense and defense, and analyzes its contributions to each. PMID:16610337

  16. Plague in Egypt: Disease biology, history and contemporary analysis: A minireview

    PubMed Central

    Lotfy, Wael M.

    2013-01-01

    Plague is a zoonotic disease with a high mortality rate in humans. Unfortunately, it is still endemic in some parts of the world. Also, natural foci of the disease are still found in some countries. Thus, there may be a risk of global plague re-emergence. This work reviews plague biology, history of major outbreaks, and threats of disease re-emergence in Egypt. Based on the suspected presence of potential natural foci in the country, the global climate change, and the threat posed by some neighbouring countries disease re-emergence in Egypt should not be excluded. The country is in need for implementation of some preventive measures. PMID:26199744

  17. [Mechanisms of power in disease: the case of the novel "The Plague" by Albert Camus].

    PubMed

    Hernández-Mansilla, José Miguel

    2009-01-01

    This paper explores the elements of power that can be found in an epidemic like the plague. To undertake this task we first studied, the form of containment of the plague from a historical perspective and then, compare them with those described by Camus in his novel The Plague. We also studied the experience of sin among humans in an effort to determine divine power. This last point explores the fear of being touched during an epidemic and how this is overcome by the innate feeling of love among men. Finally in the novel, this is illustrated by the love of Orpheus for Eurydice.

  18. [Efficacy of cefixime and cefepime vs. other cephalosporins in experimental plague of albino mice due to variants FI+ and FI- of the plague microbe].

    PubMed

    Ryzhko, I V; Shcherbaniuk, A I; Moldavan, I A; Tsuraeva, R I; Anisimov, B I; Trishina, A V

    2007-01-01

    Efficacy of cefixime and cefepime vs. ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, ceftazidime and cefoperazone was studied in vitro and in the treatment of experimental plague of albino mice due to natural, antigen complete strains of the plague microbe and the pathogen variants deprived of the ability to produce the capsule antigen fraction I (FI- phenotype). The MICs of cefixime and cefepime for 20 FI+ and 20 FI- strains of the plague microbe were 0.02-0.08 mg/l, that corresponded to the MICs of ceftriaxone, cefotaxime and ceftazidime. The MICs of cefoperazone were somewhat higher (0.1-0.2 mg/l). The ED50 values of cefixime and cefepime for prevention and treatment of experimental plague in mice statistically did not significantly differ from the ED50 values of ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, ceftazidime and cefoperazone. The efficacy indices (EIs) of cefixime and cefepime were > 10(4) independent of the infective strain phenotype (FI+ or FI-) and did not differ from those of ceftriaxone and ceftazidime. The efficacy of cefotaxime and cefoperazone was somewhat lower (EIs 1.7 x 10(3)-8.9 x 10(3)). Both the antibacterials were shown to provide high protective and therapeutic efficacy (80-100% of the survivors) independent of the phenotype (FI+ or FI-) of the pathogen infective strain. The results allowed to consider the antibiotics prospective in prevention and treatment of plague.

  19. Landscape structure and plague occurrence in black-tailed prairie dogs on grasslands of the western USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collinge, S.K.; Johnson, W.C.; Ray, C.; Matchett, R.; Grensten, J.; Cully, J.F.; Gage, K.L.; Kosoy, M.Y.; Loye, J.E.; Martin, A.P.

    2005-01-01

    Landscape structure influences the abundance and distribution of many species, including pathogens that cause infectious diseases. Black-tailed prairie dogs in the western USA have declined precipitously over the past 100 years, most recently due to grassland conversion and their susceptibility to sylvatic plague. We assembled and analyzed two long-term data sets on plague occurrence in black-tailed prairie dogs to explore the hypotheses that plague occurrence is associated with colony characteristics and landscape context. Our two study areas (Boulder County, Colorado, and Phillips County, Montana) differed markedly in degree of urbanization and other landscape characteristics. In both study areas, we found associations between plague occurrence and landscape and colony characteristics such as the amount of roads, streams and lakes surrounding a prairie dog colony, the area covered by the colony and its neighbors, and the distance to the nearest plague-positive colony. Logistic regression models were similar between the two study areas, with the best models predicting positive effects of proximity to plague-positive colonies and negative effects of road, stream and lake cover on plague occurrence. Taken together, these results suggest that roads, streams and lakes may serve as barriers to plague in black-tailed prairie dog colonies by affecting movement of or habitat quality for plague hosts or for fleas that serve as vectors for the pathogen. The similarity in plague correlates between urban and rural study areas suggests that the correlates of plague are not altered by uniquely urban stressors. ?? Springer 2005.

  20. Genome Sequence of the Deep-Rooted Yersinia pestis Strain Angola Reveals New Insights into the Evolution and Pangenome of the Plague Bacterium▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Eppinger, Mark; Worsham, Patricia L.; Nikolich, Mikeljon P.; Riley, David R.; Sebastian, Yinong; Mou, Sherry; Achtman, Mark; Lindler, Luther E.; Ravel, Jacques

    2010-01-01

    To gain insights into the origin and genome evolution of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis, we have sequenced the deep-rooted strain Angola, a virulent Pestoides isolate. Its ancient nature makes this atypical isolate of particular importance in understanding the evolution of plague pathogenicity. Its chromosome features a unique genetic make-up intermediate between modern Y. pestis isolates and its evolutionary ancestor, Y. pseudotuberculosis. Our genotypic and phenotypic analyses led us to conclude that Angola belongs to one of the most ancient Y. pestis lineages thus far sequenced. The mobilome carries the first reported chimeric plasmid combining the two species-specific virulence plasmids. Genomic findings were validated in virulence assays demonstrating that its pathogenic potential is distinct from modern Y. pestis isolates. Human infection with this particular isolate would not be diagnosed by the standard clinical tests, as Angola lacks the plasmid-borne capsule, and a possible emergence of this genotype raises major public health concerns. To assess the genomic plasticity in Y. pestis, we investigated the global gene reservoir and estimated the pangenome at 4,844 unique protein-coding genes. As shown by the genomic analysis of this evolutionary key isolate, we found that the genomic plasticity within Y. pestis clearly was not as limited as previously thought, which is strengthened by the detection of the largest number of isolate-specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) currently reported in the species. This study identified numerous novel genetic signatures, some of which seem to be intimately associated with plague virulence. These markers are valuable in the development of a robust typing system critical for forensic, diagnostic, and epidemiological studies. PMID:20061468

  1. [Change in the habitat of Yersinia pestis in the Gorno-Altaisk natural focus of plague].

    PubMed

    Korzun, V M; Chipanin, E V; Balakhonov, S V; Denisov, A V; Rozhdestvenskiĭ, E N; Mihaĭlov, E P; Iarygina, M B; Kosilko, S A

    2014-01-01

    The paper analyzes the change that occurred in the habitat of the causative agent of plague in its Gorno-Altaisk natural focus in 1961 to 2012. Since 1961 when the plague microbe was found to come from the southern slopes of the Saylyugem mountain range, which are located in Mongolia, to the northern slopes situated in Russia, a gradual expansion of the habitat of Yersenia pestis subsp. altaica had commenced in South-Eastern Altai. During the considered period, the area where epizootic manifestations were registered showed an 11-fold increase. In most cases, the spread of the plague pathogen within the focus was natural and occurred in the successive and closely related settlements of Mongolian pikas (Ochotona pallasi). By now, the plague microbe has been widely distributed in three populations of this small animal, which inhabit the territory of South-Eastern Altai.

  2. Early emergence of Yersinia pestis as a severe respiratory pathogen.

    PubMed

    Zimbler, Daniel L; Schroeder, Jay A; Eddy, Justin L; Lathem, Wyndham W

    2015-06-30

    Yersinia pestis causes the fatal respiratory disease pneumonic plague. Y. pestis recently evolved from the gastrointestinal pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis; however, it is not known at what point Y. pestis gained the ability to induce a fulminant pneumonia. Here we show that the acquisition of a single gene encoding the protease Pla was sufficient for the most ancestral, deeply rooted strains of Y. pestis to cause pneumonic plague, indicating that Y. pestis was primed to infect the lungs at a very early stage in its evolution. As Y. pestis further evolved, modern strains acquired a single amino-acid modification within Pla that optimizes protease activity. While this modification is unnecessary to cause pneumonic plague, the substitution is instead needed to efficiently induce the invasive infection associated with bubonic plague. These findings indicate that Y. pestis was capable of causing pneumonic plague before it evolved to optimally cause invasive infections in mammals.

  3. Early emergence of Yersinia pestis as a severe respiratory pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Zimbler, Daniel L.; Schroeder, Jay A.; Eddy, Justin L.; Lathem, Wyndham W.

    2015-01-01

    Yersinia pestis causes the fatal respiratory disease pneumonic plague. Y. pestis recently evolved from the gastrointestinal pathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis; however, it is not known at what point Y. pestis gained the ability to induce a fulminant pneumonia. Here we show that the acquisition of a single gene encoding the protease Pla was sufficient for the most ancestral, deeply rooted strains of Y. pestis to cause pneumonic plague, indicating that Y. pestis was primed to infect the lungs at a very early stage in its evolution. As Y. pestis further evolved, modern strains acquired a single amino-acid modification within Pla that optimizes protease activity. While this modification is unnecessary to cause pneumonic plague, the substitution is instead needed to efficiently induce the invasive infection associated with bubonic plague. These findings indicate that Y. pestis was capable of causing pneumonic plague before it evolved to optimally cause invasive infections in mammals. PMID:26123398

  4. Potential role of viruses in white plague coral disease

    PubMed Central

    Soffer, Nitzan; Brandt, Marilyn E; Correa, Adrienne MS; Smith, Tyler B; Thurber, Rebecca Vega

    2014-01-01

    White plague (WP)-like diseases of tropical corals are implicated in reef decline worldwide, although their etiological cause is generally unknown. Studies thus far have focused on bacterial or eukaryotic pathogens as the source of these diseases; no studies have examined the role of viruses. Using a combination of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 454 pyrosequencing, we compared 24 viral metagenomes generated from Montastraea annularis corals showing signs of WP-like disease and/or bleaching, control conspecific corals, and adjacent seawater. TEM was used for visual inspection of diseased coral tissue. No bacteria were visually identified within diseased coral tissues, but viral particles and sequence similarities to eukaryotic circular Rep-encoding single-stranded DNA viruses and their associated satellites (SCSDVs) were abundant in WP diseased tissues. In contrast, sequence similarities to SCSDVs were not found in any healthy coral tissues, suggesting SCSDVs might have a role in WP disease. Furthermore, Herpesviridae gene signatures dominated healthy tissues, corroborating reports that herpes-like viruses infect all corals. Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV) sequences, similar to those recently identified in cultures of Symbiodinium (the algal symbionts of corals), were most common in bleached corals. This finding further implicates that these NCLDV viruses may have a role in bleaching, as suggested in previous studies. This study determined that a specific group of viruses is associated with diseased Caribbean corals and highlights the potential for viral disease in regional coral reef decline. PMID:23949663

  5. Potential role of viruses in white plague coral disease.

    PubMed

    Soffer, Nitzan; Brandt, Marilyn E; Correa, Adrienne M S; Smith, Tyler B; Thurber, Rebecca Vega

    2014-02-01

    White plague (WP)-like diseases of tropical corals are implicated in reef decline worldwide, although their etiological cause is generally unknown. Studies thus far have focused on bacterial or eukaryotic pathogens as the source of these diseases; no studies have examined the role of viruses. Using a combination of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 454 pyrosequencing, we compared 24 viral metagenomes generated from Montastraea annularis corals showing signs of WP-like disease and/or bleaching, control conspecific corals, and adjacent seawater. TEM was used for visual inspection of diseased coral tissue. No bacteria were visually identified within diseased coral tissues, but viral particles and sequence similarities to eukaryotic circular Rep-encoding single-stranded DNA viruses and their associated satellites (SCSDVs) were abundant in WP diseased tissues. In contrast, sequence similarities to SCSDVs were not found in any healthy coral tissues, suggesting SCSDVs might have a role in WP disease. Furthermore, Herpesviridae gene signatures dominated healthy tissues, corroborating reports that herpes-like viruses infect all corals. Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV) sequences, similar to those recently identified in cultures of Symbiodinium (the algal symbionts of corals), were most common in bleached corals. This finding further implicates that these NCLDV viruses may have a role in bleaching, as suggested in previous studies. This study determined that a specific group of viruses is associated with diseased Caribbean corals and highlights the potential for viral disease in regional coral reef decline. PMID:23949663

  6. Potential role of viruses in white plague coral disease.

    PubMed

    Soffer, Nitzan; Brandt, Marilyn E; Correa, Adrienne M S; Smith, Tyler B; Thurber, Rebecca Vega

    2014-02-01

    White plague (WP)-like diseases of tropical corals are implicated in reef decline worldwide, although their etiological cause is generally unknown. Studies thus far have focused on bacterial or eukaryotic pathogens as the source of these diseases; no studies have examined the role of viruses. Using a combination of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and 454 pyrosequencing, we compared 24 viral metagenomes generated from Montastraea annularis corals showing signs of WP-like disease and/or bleaching, control conspecific corals, and adjacent seawater. TEM was used for visual inspection of diseased coral tissue. No bacteria were visually identified within diseased coral tissues, but viral particles and sequence similarities to eukaryotic circular Rep-encoding single-stranded DNA viruses and their associated satellites (SCSDVs) were abundant in WP diseased tissues. In contrast, sequence similarities to SCSDVs were not found in any healthy coral tissues, suggesting SCSDVs might have a role in WP disease. Furthermore, Herpesviridae gene signatures dominated healthy tissues, corroborating reports that herpes-like viruses infect all corals. Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV) sequences, similar to those recently identified in cultures of Symbiodinium (the algal symbionts of corals), were most common in bleached corals. This finding further implicates that these NCLDV viruses may have a role in bleaching, as suggested in previous studies. This study determined that a specific group of viruses is associated with diseased Caribbean corals and highlights the potential for viral disease in regional coral reef decline.

  7. Duck plague: carrier state and gross pathology in black ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ossa, Jorge E.

    1975-01-01

    Duck plague (UP) is a highly fatal disease of ducks, geese, and swans (family Anatidae), produced by a reticulo-endotheliotrophic virus classified as a member of the Herpesvirus group. The disease was recognized in Europe in 1949. On the American continent, the disease was first diagnosed in the United States in 1967. Very little is known of DP virus ecology, particularly of the mechanisms of interepizootic survival and movement. The tendency of the IIerpesviruses to enter into a quiescent state after an overt or inapparent infection is a proven characteristic for most of the members of this group. Herpes simplex, which is the model of the Herpesviruses, is said to be the classical example of a persistent recurrent viral infection. Burnet and Williams (4) were the first to recognize this kind of relationship between herpes simplex and its host in 1939. Later, it was found that the reactivation of the virus can be brought on by a variety of stimuli either physiological (menstruation), pathological (anaphylactic shock), chemical (pesticides) or physical (sunburn). This same latency property has been proved for every member of this group of viruses which has been studied adequately, DP is among the few Herpesviruses for which the carrier state has not been demonstrated, but there is circumstantial evidence suggesting it. The carrier state for DP seems to be a likely explanation for the persistence and the particular pattern of movement of this disease.

  8. Modernity's Prometheus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morris, Richard

    1993-01-01

    Argues for reframing and reforging the relationship between text and context. Argues that the silences that modernity's tribute to text invites are grotesque, untenable, and fundamentally anti-intellectual. (SR)

  9. Navigable rivers facilitated the spread and recurrence of plague in pre-industrial Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, Ricci P. H.; Lee, Harry F.; Wu, Connor Y. H.

    2016-10-01

    Infectious diseases have become a rising challenge to mankind in a globalizing world. Yet, little is known about the inland transmission of infectious diseases in history. In this study, we based on the spatio-temporal information of 5559 plague (Yersinia pestis) outbreaks in Europe and its neighboring regions in AD1347–1760 to statistically examine the connection between navigable rivers and plague outbreak. Our results showed that 95.5% of plague happened within 10 km proximity of navigable rivers. Besides, the count of plague outbreak was positively correlated with the width of river and negatively correlated with the distance between city and river. This association remained robust in different regression model specifications. An increase of 100 m in the width of river and a shortening of 1 km distance between city and river resulted in 9 and 0.96 more plague outbreaks in our study period, respectively. Such relationship shows a declining trend over our study period due to the expansion of city and technological advancement in overland transportation. This study elucidates the key role of navigable river in the dissemination of plague in historical Europe.

  10. Navigable rivers facilitated the spread and recurrence of plague in pre-industrial Europe

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Ricci P. H.; Lee, Harry F.; Wu, Connor Y. H.

    2016-01-01

    Infectious diseases have become a rising challenge to mankind in a globalizing world. Yet, little is known about the inland transmission of infectious diseases in history. In this study, we based on the spatio-temporal information of 5559 plague (Yersinia pestis) outbreaks in Europe and its neighboring regions in AD1347–1760 to statistically examine the connection between navigable rivers and plague outbreak. Our results showed that 95.5% of plague happened within 10 km proximity of navigable rivers. Besides, the count of plague outbreak was positively correlated with the width of river and negatively correlated with the distance between city and river. This association remained robust in different regression model specifications. An increase of 100 m in the width of river and a shortening of 1 km distance between city and river resulted in 9 and 0.96 more plague outbreaks in our study period, respectively. Such relationship shows a declining trend over our study period due to the expansion of city and technological advancement in overland transportation. This study elucidates the key role of navigable river in the dissemination of plague in historical Europe. PMID:27721393

  11. Small mammal distribution and diversity in a plague endemic area in West Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Ralaizafisoloarivony, Njaka A; Kimaro, Didas N; Kihupi, Nganga I; Mulungu, Loth S; Leirs, Herwig; Msanya, Balthazar M; Deckers, Jozef A; Gulinck, Hubert

    2014-07-01

    Small mammals play a role in plague transmission as hosts in all plague endemic areas. Information on distribution and diversity of small mammals is therefore important for plague surveillance and control in such areas. The objective of this study was to investigate small mammals' diversity and their distribution in plague endemic area in the West Usambara Mountains in north-eastern Tanzania. Landsat images and field surveys were used to select trapping locations in different landscapes. Three landscapes with different habitats were selected for trapping of small mammals. Three types of trap were used in order to maximise the number of species captured. In total, 188 animals and thirteen species were captured in 4,905 trap nights. Praomys delectorum and Mastomys natalensis both reported as plague hosts comprised 50% of all the animals trapped. Trap success increased with altitude. Species diversity was higher in plantation forest followed by shrub, compared to other habitats, regardless of landscape type. It would therefore seem that chances of plague transmission from small mammals to humans are much higher under shrub, natural and plantation forest habitats.

  12. Identification of risk factors for plague in the West Nile Region of Uganda.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; MacMillan, Katherine; Atiku, Linda A; Mpanga, Joseph T; Zielinski-Gutierrez, Emily; Graham, Christine B; Boegler, Karen A; Enscore, Russell E; Gage, Kenneth L

    2014-06-01

    Plague is an often fatal, primarily flea-borne rodent-associated zoonosis caused by Yersinia pestis. We sought to identify risk factors for plague by comparing villages with and without a history of human plague cases within a model-defined plague focus in the West Nile Region of Uganda. Although rat (Rattus rattus) abundance was similar inside huts within case and control villages, contact rates between rats and humans (as measured by reported rat bites) and host-seeking flea loads were higher in case villages. In addition, compared with persons in control villages, persons in case villages more often reported sleeping on reed or straw mats, storing food in huts where persons sleep, owning dogs and allowing them into huts where persons sleep, storing garbage inside or near huts, and cooking in huts where persons sleep. Compared with persons in case villages, persons in control villages more commonly reported replacing thatch roofing, and growing coffee, tomatoes, onions, and melons in agricultural plots adjacent to their homesteads. Rodent and flea control practices, knowledge of plague, distance to clinics, and most care-seeking practices were similar between persons in case villages and persons in control villages. Our findings reinforce existing plague prevention recommendations and point to potentially advantageous local interventions.

  13. Local persistence and extinction of plague in a metapopulation of great gerbil burrows, Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Schmid, B V; Jesse, M; Wilschut, L I; Viljugrein, H; Heesterbeek, J A P

    2012-12-01

    Speculation on how the bacterium Yersinia pestis re-emerges after years of absence in the Prebalkhash region in Kazakhstan has been ongoing for half a century, but the mechanism is still unclear. One of the theories is that plague persists in its reservoir host (the great gerbil) in so-called hotspots, i.e. small regions in which the conditions remain favourable for plague to persist during times where the conditions in the Prebalkhash region as a whole have become unfavourable for plague persistence. In this paper we use a metapopulation model that describes the dynamics of the great gerbil. With this model we study the minimum size of an individual hotspot and the combined size of multiple hotspots in the Prebalkhash region that would be required for Y. pestis to persist through an inter-epizootic period. We show that the combined area of hotspots required for plague persistence is so large that it would be unlikely to have been missed by existing plague surveillance. This suggests that persistence of plague in that region cannot solely be explained by the existence of hotspots, and therefore other hypotheses, such as survival in multiple host species, and persistence in fleas or in the soil should be considered as well.

  14. Human activity spaces and plague risks in three contrasting landscapes in Lushoto District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Hieronimo, Proches; Gulinck, Hubert; Kimaro, Didas N; Mulungu, Loth S; Kihupi, Nganga I; Msanya, Balthazar M; Leirs, Herwig; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Since 1980 plague has been a human threat in the Western Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. However, the spatial-temporal pattern of plague occurrence remains poorly understood. The main objective of this study was to gain understanding of human activity patterns in relation to spatial distribution of fleas in Lushoto District. Data were collected in three landscapes differing in plague incidence. Field survey coupled with Geographic Information System (GIS) and physical sample collections were used to collect data in wet (April to June 2012) and dry (August to October 2012) seasons. Data analysis was done using GIS, one-way ANOVA and nonparametric statistical tools. The degree of spatial co-occurrence of potential disease vectors (fleas) and humans in Lushoto focus differs significantly (p ≤ 0.05) among the selected landscapes, and in both seasons. This trend gives a coarse indication of the possible association of the plague outbreaks and the human frequencies of contacting environments with fleas. The study suggests that plague surveillance and control programmes at landscape scale should consider the existence of plague vector contagion risk gradient from high to low incidence landscapes due to human presence and intensity of activities.

  15. Modeling the Impact of White-Plague Coral Disease in Climate Change Scenarios

    PubMed Central

    Loya, Yossi; Stone, Lewi

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are in global decline, with coral diseases increasing both in prevalence and in space, a situation that is expected only to worsen as future thermal stressors increase. Through intense surveillance, we have collected a unique and highly resolved dataset from the coral reef of Eilat (Israel, Red Sea), that documents the spatiotemporal dynamics of a White Plague Disease (WPD) outbreak over the course of a full season. Based on modern statistical methodologies, we develop a novel spatial epidemiological model that uses a maximum-likelihood procedure to fit the data and assess the transmission pattern of WPD. We link the model to sea surface temperature (SST) and test the possible effect of increasing temperatures on disease dynamics. Our results reveal that the likelihood of a susceptible coral to become infected is governed both by SST and by its spatial location relative to nearby infected corals. The model shows that the magnitude of WPD epidemics strongly depends on demographic circumstances; under one extreme, when recruitment is free-space regulated and coral density remains relatively constant, even an increase of only 0.5°C in SST can cause epidemics to double in magnitude. In reality, however, the spatial nature of transmission can effectively protect the community, restricting the magnitude of annual epidemics. This is because the probability of susceptible corals to become infected is negatively associated with coral density. Based on our findings, we expect that infectious diseases having a significant spatial component, such as Red-Sea WPD, will never lead to a complete destruction of the coral community under increased thermal stress. However, this also implies that signs of recovery of local coral communities may be misleading; indicative more of spatial dynamics than true rehabilitation of these communities. In contrast to earlier generic models, our approach captures dynamics of WPD both in space and time, accounting for the highly

  16. Modeling the Impact of White-Plague Coral Disease in Climate Change Scenarios.

    PubMed

    Zvuloni, Assaf; Artzy-Randrup, Yael; Katriel, Guy; Loya, Yossi; Stone, Lewi

    2015-06-01

    Coral reefs are in global decline, with coral diseases increasing both in prevalence and in space, a situation that is expected only to worsen as future thermal stressors increase. Through intense surveillance, we have collected a unique and highly resolved dataset from the coral reef of Eilat (Israel, Red Sea), that documents the spatiotemporal dynamics of a White Plague Disease (WPD) outbreak over the course of a full season. Based on modern statistical methodologies, we develop a novel spatial epidemiological model that uses a maximum-likelihood procedure to fit the data and assess the transmission pattern of WPD. We link the model to sea surface temperature (SST) and test the possible effect of increasing temperatures on disease dynamics. Our results reveal that the likelihood of a susceptible coral to become infected is governed both by SST and by its spatial location relative to nearby infected corals. The model shows that the magnitude of WPD epidemics strongly depends on demographic circumstances; under one extreme, when recruitment is free-space regulated and coral density remains relatively constant, even an increase of only 0.5°C in SST can cause epidemics to double in magnitude. In reality, however, the spatial nature of transmission can effectively protect the community, restricting the magnitude of annual epidemics. This is because the probability of susceptible corals to become infected is negatively associated with coral density. Based on our findings, we expect that infectious diseases having a significant spatial component, such as Red-Sea WPD, will never lead to a complete destruction of the coral community under increased thermal stress. However, this also implies that signs of recovery of local coral communities may be misleading; indicative more of spatial dynamics than true rehabilitation of these communities. In contrast to earlier generic models, our approach captures dynamics of WPD both in space and time, accounting for the highly

  17. Modeling the Impact of White-Plague Coral Disease in Climate Change Scenarios.

    PubMed

    Zvuloni, Assaf; Artzy-Randrup, Yael; Katriel, Guy; Loya, Yossi; Stone, Lewi

    2015-06-01

    Coral reefs are in global decline, with coral diseases increasing both in prevalence and in space, a situation that is expected only to worsen as future thermal stressors increase. Through intense surveillance, we have collected a unique and highly resolved dataset from the coral reef of Eilat (Israel, Red Sea), that documents the spatiotemporal dynamics of a White Plague Disease (WPD) outbreak over the course of a full season. Based on modern statistical methodologies, we develop a novel spatial epidemiological model that uses a maximum-likelihood procedure to fit the data and assess the transmission pattern of WPD. We link the model to sea surface temperature (SST) and test the possible effect of increasing temperatures on disease dynamics. Our results reveal that the likelihood of a susceptible coral to become infected is governed both by SST and by its spatial location relative to nearby infected corals. The model shows that the magnitude of WPD epidemics strongly depends on demographic circumstances; under one extreme, when recruitment is free-space regulated and coral density remains relatively constant, even an increase of only 0.5°C in SST can cause epidemics to double in magnitude. In reality, however, the spatial nature of transmission can effectively protect the community, restricting the magnitude of annual epidemics. This is because the probability of susceptible corals to become infected is negatively associated with coral density. Based on our findings, we expect that infectious diseases having a significant spatial component, such as Red-Sea WPD, will never lead to a complete destruction of the coral community under increased thermal stress. However, this also implies that signs of recovery of local coral communities may be misleading; indicative more of spatial dynamics than true rehabilitation of these communities. In contrast to earlier generic models, our approach captures dynamics of WPD both in space and time, accounting for the highly

  18. The abundance threshold for plague as a critical percolation phenomenon.

    PubMed

    Davis, S; Trapman, P; Leirs, H; Begon, M; Heesterbeek, J A P

    2008-07-31

    Percolation theory is most commonly associated with the slow flow of liquid through a porous medium, with applications to the physical sciences. Epidemiological applications have been anticipated for disease systems where the host is a plant or volume of soil, and hence is fixed in space. However, no natural examples have been reported. The central question of interest in percolation theory, the possibility of an infinite connected cluster, corresponds in infectious disease to a positive probability of an epidemic. Archived records of plague (infection with Yersinia pestis) in populations of great gerbils (Rhombomys opimus) in Kazakhstan have been used to show that epizootics only occur when more than about 0.33 of the burrow systems built by the host are occupied by family groups. The underlying mechanism for this abundance threshold is unknown. Here we present evidence that it is a percolation threshold, which arises from the difference in scale between the movements that transport infectious fleas between family groups and the vast size of contiguous landscapes colonized by gerbils. Conventional theory predicts that abundance thresholds for the spread of infectious disease arise when transmission between hosts is density dependent such that the basic reproduction number (R(0)) increases with abundance, attaining 1 at the threshold. Percolation thresholds, however, are separate, spatially explicit thresholds that indicate long-range connectivity in a system and do not coincide with R(0) = 1. Abundance thresholds are the theoretical basis for attempts to manage infectious disease by reducing the abundance of susceptibles, including vaccination and the culling of wildlife. This first natural example of a percolation threshold in a disease system invites a re-appraisal of other invasion thresholds, such as those for epidemic viral infections in African lions (Panthera leo), and of other disease systems such as bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis) in

  19. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Busch, Joseph D; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E; Cobble, Kacy R; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William; Shuey, Megan M; Foster, Jeffrey T; Schupp, James M; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L; Rocke, Tonie E; Wagner, David M

    2013-10-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies. PMID:24502719

  20. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Busch, Joseph D; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E; Cobble, Kacy R; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William; Shuey, Megan M; Foster, Jeffrey T; Schupp, James M; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L; Rocke, Tonie E; Wagner, David M

    2013-10-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies.

  1. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Busch, Joseph D.; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E.; Cobble, Kacy R.; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William E.; Shuey, Megan M.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Schupp, James M.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Wagner, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies.

  2. A plague on five of your houses - statistical re-assessment of three pneumonic plague outbreaks that occurred in Suffolk, England, between 1906 and 1918

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Plague is a re-emerging disease and its pneumonic form is a high priority bio-terrorist threat. Epidemiologists have previously analysed historical outbreaks of pneumonic plague to better understand the dynamics of infection, transmission and control. This study examines 3 relatively unknown outbreaks of pneumonic plague that occurred in Suffolk, England, during the first 2 decades of the twentieth century. Methods The Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistical test is used to compare the symptomatic period and the length of time between successive cases (i.e. the serial interval) with previously reported values. Consideration is also given to the case fatality ratio, the average number of secondary cases resulting from each primary case in the observed minor outbreaks (termed Rminor), and the proportion of individuals living within an affected household that succumb to pneumonic plague via the index case (i.e. the household secondary attack rate (SAR)). Results 2 of the 14 cases survived giving a case fatality ratio of 86% (95% confidence interval (CI) = {57%, 98%}). For the 12 fatal cases, the average symptomatic period was 3.3 days (standard deviation (SD) = 1.2 days) and, for the 11 non index cases, the average serial interval was 5.8 days (SD = 2.0 days). Rminor was calculated to be 0.9 (SD = 1.0) and, in 2 households, the SAR was approximately 14% (95% CI = {0%, 58%}) and 20% (95% CI = {1%, 72%}), respectively. Conclusions The symptomatic period was approximately 1 day longer on average than in an earlier study but the serial interval was in close agreement with 2 previously reported values. 2 of the 3 outbreaks ended without explicit public health interventions; however, non-professional caregivers were particularly vulnerable - an important public health consideration for any future outbreak of pneumonic plague. PMID:20973955

  3. Duration of plague (Yersinia pestis) outbreaks in black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies of northern Colorado.

    PubMed

    St Romain, Krista; Tripp, Daniel W; Salkeld, Daniel J; Antolin, Michael F

    2013-09-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, triggers die-offs in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), but the time-frame of plague activity is not well understood. We document plague activity in fleas from prairie dogs and their burrows on three prairie dog colonies that suffered die-offs. We demonstrate that Y. pestis transmission occurs over periods from several months to over a year in prairie dog populations before observed die-offs. PMID:24057801

  4. Modern Spectroscopy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Gordon M.

    1970-01-01

    Presents the basic ideas of modern spectroscopy. Both the angular momenta and wave-nature approaches to the determination of energy level patterns for atomic and molecular systems are discussed. The interpretation of spectra, based on atomic and molecular models, is considered. (LC)

  5. Modern Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ministry of Education, London (England).

    This survey of educational practices in Great Britain is intended to allow a comparative view of the state of modern language instruction as it exists within the country and abroad. Chapters focus on general principles, language selection, grammar and secondary schools, instructional materials, foreign relations, teacher training, and teaching…

  6. Current Perspectives on Plague Vector Control in Madagascar: Susceptibility Status of Xenopsylla cheopis to 12 Insecticides.

    PubMed

    Miarinjara, Adélaïde; Boyer, Sébastien

    2016-02-01

    Plague is a rodent disease transmissible to humans by infected flea bites, and Madagascar is one of the countries with the highest plague incidence in the world. This study reports the susceptibility of the main plague vector Xenopsylla cheopis to 12 different insecticides belonging to 4 insecticide families (carbamates, organophosphates, pyrethroids and organochlorines). Eight populations from different geographical regions of Madagascar previously resistant to deltamethrin were tested with a World Health Organization standard bioassay. Insecticide susceptibility varied amongst populations, but all of them were resistant to six insecticides belonging to pyrethroid and carbamate insecticides (alphacypermethrin, lambdacyhalothrin, etofenprox, deltamethrin, bendiocarb and propoxur). Only one insecticide (dieldrin) was an efficient pulicide for all flea populations. Cross resistances were suspected. This study proposes at least three alternative insecticides (malathion, fenitrothion and cyfluthrin) to replace deltamethrin during plague epidemic responses, but the most efficient insecticide may be different for each population studied. We highlight the importance of continuous insecticide susceptibility surveillance in the areas of high plague risk in Madagascar. PMID:26844772

  7. Epidemiological analysis of the Eyam plague outbreak of 1665-1666.

    PubMed

    Whittles, Lilith K; Didelot, Xavier

    2016-05-11

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in human history, and still causes worrying outbreaks in Africa and South America. Despite the historical and current importance of plague, several questions remain unanswered concerning its transmission routes and infection risk factors. The plague outbreak that started in September 1665 in the Derbyshire village of Eyam claimed 257 lives over 14 months, wiping out entire families. Since previous attempts at modelling the Eyam plague, new data have been unearthed from parish records revealing a much more complete record of the disease. Using a stochastic compartmental model and Bayesian analytical methods, we found that both rodent-to-human and human-to-human transmission played an important role in spreading the infection, and that they accounted, respectively, for a quarter and three-quarters of all infections, with a statistically significant seasonality effect. We also found that the force of infection was stronger for infectious individuals living in the same household compared with the rest of the village. Poverty significantly increased the risk of disease, whereas adulthood decreased the risk. These results on the Eyam outbreak contribute to the current debate on the relative importance of plague transmission routes. PMID:27170724

  8. Epidemiological analysis of the Eyam plague outbreak of 1665–1666

    PubMed Central

    Whittles, Lilith K.

    2016-01-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in human history, and still causes worrying outbreaks in Africa and South America. Despite the historical and current importance of plague, several questions remain unanswered concerning its transmission routes and infection risk factors. The plague outbreak that started in September 1665 in the Derbyshire village of Eyam claimed 257 lives over 14 months, wiping out entire families. Since previous attempts at modelling the Eyam plague, new data have been unearthed from parish records revealing a much more complete record of the disease. Using a stochastic compartmental model and Bayesian analytical methods, we found that both rodent-to-human and human-to-human transmission played an important role in spreading the infection, and that they accounted, respectively, for a quarter and three-quarters of all infections, with a statistically significant seasonality effect. We also found that the force of infection was stronger for infectious individuals living in the same household compared with the rest of the village. Poverty significantly increased the risk of disease, whereas adulthood decreased the risk. These results on the Eyam outbreak contribute to the current debate on the relative importance of plague transmission routes. PMID:27170724

  9. Current Perspectives on Plague Vector Control in Madagascar: Susceptibility Status of Xenopsylla cheopis to 12 Insecticides.

    PubMed

    Miarinjara, Adélaïde; Boyer, Sébastien

    2016-02-01

    Plague is a rodent disease transmissible to humans by infected flea bites, and Madagascar is one of the countries with the highest plague incidence in the world. This study reports the susceptibility of the main plague vector Xenopsylla cheopis to 12 different insecticides belonging to 4 insecticide families (carbamates, organophosphates, pyrethroids and organochlorines). Eight populations from different geographical regions of Madagascar previously resistant to deltamethrin were tested with a World Health Organization standard bioassay. Insecticide susceptibility varied amongst populations, but all of them were resistant to six insecticides belonging to pyrethroid and carbamate insecticides (alphacypermethrin, lambdacyhalothrin, etofenprox, deltamethrin, bendiocarb and propoxur). Only one insecticide (dieldrin) was an efficient pulicide for all flea populations. Cross resistances were suspected. This study proposes at least three alternative insecticides (malathion, fenitrothion and cyfluthrin) to replace deltamethrin during plague epidemic responses, but the most efficient insecticide may be different for each population studied. We highlight the importance of continuous insecticide susceptibility surveillance in the areas of high plague risk in Madagascar.

  10. A High-Coverage Yersinia pestis Genome from a Sixth-Century Justinianic Plague Victim

    PubMed Central

    Feldman, Michal; Harbeck, Michaela; Keller, Marcel; Spyrou, Maria A.; Rott, Andreas; Trautmann, Bernd; Scholz, Holger C.; Päffgen, Bernd; Peters, Joris; McCormick, Michael; Bos, Kirsten; Herbig, Alexander; Krause, Johannes

    2016-01-01

    The Justinianic Plague, which started in the sixth century and lasted to the mid eighth century, is thought to be the first of three historically documented plague pandemics causing massive casualties. Historical accounts and molecular data suggest the bacterium Yersinia pestis as its etiological agent. Here we present a new high-coverage (17.9-fold) Y. pestis genome obtained from a sixth-century skeleton recovered from a southern German burial site close to Munich. The reconstructed genome enabled the detection of 30 unique substitutions as well as structural differences that have not been previously described. We report indels affecting a lacl family transcription regulator gene as well as nonsynonymous substitutions in the nrdE, fadJ, and pcp genes, that have been suggested as plague virulence determinants or have been shown to be upregulated in different models of plague infection. In addition, we identify 19 false positive substitutions in a previously published lower-coverage Y. pestis genome from another archaeological site of the same time period and geographical region that is otherwise genetically identical to the high-coverage genome sequence reported here, suggesting low-genetic diversity of the plague during the sixth century in rural southern Germany. PMID:27578768

  11. Vegetation habitats and small mammals in a plague endemic area in Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Ralaizafisoloarivony, Njaka A; Kimaro, Didas N; Kihupi, Nganga I; Mulungu, Loth S; Leirs, Herwig; Msanya, Balthazar M; Deckers, Jozef A; Gulinck, Hubert

    2014-07-01

    Human plague still exists in different parts of the world, including some landscapes in north-eastern Tanzania. Wherever the hotspot of plague, small mammals seem to play a key role as host. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between vegetation habitats types and small mammals in a plague endemic area of Lushoto District in Tanzania. A combination of field survey and Landsat images was used to identify the vegetation habitats. Small mammals were trapped in the mapped vegetation units, and identified. In total, six main types of vegetation habitats were investigated. A total of 13 small mammal species, potentially related to plague were trapped. Results show that annual cultivated crops habitat accounted for 80% of Mastomys natalensis while natural forest accounted for 60% of Praomys delectorum. These findings have shed new light on the diversity of rodents in different habitats of natural and semi-natural vegetations, and agricultural crops in the study area, which is an important intermediate step in unravelling the complex human plague system.

  12. Current Perspectives on Plague Vector Control in Madagascar: Susceptibility Status of Xenopsylla cheopis to 12 Insecticides

    PubMed Central

    Miarinjara, Adélaïde; Boyer, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    Plague is a rodent disease transmissible to humans by infected flea bites, and Madagascar is one of the countries with the highest plague incidence in the world. This study reports the susceptibility of the main plague vector Xenopsylla cheopis to 12 different insecticides belonging to 4 insecticide families (carbamates, organophosphates, pyrethroids and organochlorines). Eight populations from different geographical regions of Madagascar previously resistant to deltamethrin were tested with a World Health Organization standard bioassay. Insecticide susceptibility varied amongst populations, but all of them were resistant to six insecticides belonging to pyrethroid and carbamate insecticides (alphacypermethrin, lambdacyhalothrin, etofenprox, deltamethrin, bendiocarb and propoxur). Only one insecticide (dieldrin) was an efficient pulicide for all flea populations. Cross resistances were suspected. This study proposes at least three alternative insecticides (malathion, fenitrothion and cyfluthrin) to replace deltamethrin during plague epidemic responses, but the most efficient insecticide may be different for each population studied. We highlight the importance of continuous insecticide susceptibility surveillance in the areas of high plague risk in Madagascar. PMID:26844772

  13. Assessing human risk of exposure to plague bacteria in northwestern Uganda based on remotely sensed predictors.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Rebecca J; Griffith, Kevin S; Borchert, Jeff N; MacMillan, Katherine; Apangu, Titus; Owor, Nicholas; Acayo, Sara; Acidri, Rogers; Zielinski-Gutierrez, Emily; Winters, Anna M; Enscore, Russell E; Schriefer, Martin E; Beard, Charles B; Gage, Kenneth L; Mead, Paul S

    2010-05-01

    Plague, a life-threatening flea-borne zoonosis caused by Yersinia pestis, has most commonly been reported from eastern Africa and Madagascar in recent decades. In these regions and elsewhere, prevention and control efforts are typically targeted at fine spatial scales, yet risk maps for the disease are often presented at coarse spatial resolutions that are of limited value in allocating scarce prevention and control resources. In our study, we sought to identify sub-village level remotely sensed correlates of elevated risk of human exposure to plague bacteria and to project the model across the plague-endemic West Nile region of Uganda and into neighboring regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our model yielded an overall accuracy of 81%, with sensitivities and specificities of 89% and 71%, respectively. Risk was higher above 1,300 meters than below, and the remotely sensed covariates that were included in the model implied that localities that are wetter, with less vegetative growth and more bare soil during the dry month of January (when agricultural plots are typically fallow) pose an increased risk of plague case occurrence. Our results suggest that environmental and landscape features play a large part in classifying an area as ecologically conducive to plague activity. However, it is clear that future studies aimed at identifying behavioral and fine-scale ecological risk factors in the West Nile region are required to fully assess the risk of human exposure to Y. pestis.

  14. Modeling the epidemiological history of plague in Central Asia: Palaeoclimatic forcing on a disease system over the past millennium

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Human cases of plague (Yersinia pestis) infection originate, ultimately, in the bacterium's wildlife host populations. The epidemiological dynamics of the wildlife reservoir therefore determine the abundance, distribution and evolution of the pathogen, which in turn shape the frequency, distribution and virulence of human cases. Earlier studies have shown clear evidence of climatic forcing on contemporary plague abundance in rodents and humans. Results We find that high-resolution palaeoclimatic indices correlate with plague prevalence and population density in a major plague host species, the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus), over 1949-1995. Climate-driven models trained on these data predict independent data on human plague cases in early 20th-century Kazakhstan from 1904-1948, suggesting a consistent impact of climate on large-scale wildlife reservoir dynamics influencing human epidemics. Extending the models further back in time, we also find correspondence between their predictions and qualitative records of plague epidemics over the past 1500 years. Conclusions Central Asian climate fluctuations appear to have had significant influences on regional human plague frequency in the first part of the 20th century, and probably over the past 1500 years. This first attempt at ecoepidemiological reconstruction of historical disease activity may shed some light on how long-term plague epidemiology interacts with human activity. As plague activity in Central Asia seems to have followed climate fluctuations over the past centuries, we may expect global warming to have an impact upon future plague epidemiology, probably sustaining or increasing plague activity in the region, at least in the rodent reservoirs, in the coming decades. See commentary: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/108 PMID:20799946

  15. [A NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS. IN GORNYI ALTAI: FORMATION, DEVELOPMENT, AND FUNCTIONING].

    PubMed

    Korzun, V M; Balakhoiov, S V; Chpanin, E V; Denisov, A V; Mikhailov, E P; Mischenko, A J; Yarygina, M B; Rozhdestvensky, E N; Fomina, L A

    2016-01-01

    The paper gives the results of analyzing the data of long-term studies of the natural focal pattern of plague in the Gornyi Altai natural focus. It describes a wide range of biological processes occurring in the focus and shows the most important patterns of its functioning as a complex multilevel ecological system. The key features of the formation of the focus have been revealed. The plague focus in South-Western Altai has formed relatively, recently, about half a century ago, then it has intensively developed and its enzootic area and the activity of epizootic manifestations have considerably increased. This process is due to the space-time transformations of the basic ecological and population characteristics of Pallas' pika (Ochotoma pallasi), the principal vector of the pathogen of plague and fleas parasitizing the mammal, which is in turn related to the aridization of mountain steppes in South-Western Altai. PMID:27029141

  16. Further development of raccoon poxvirus-vectored vaccines against plague (Yersinia pestis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Iams, K.P.; Dawe, S.; Smith, S.R.; Williamson, J.L.; Heisey, D.M.; Osorio, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    In previous studies, we demonstrated protection against plague in mice and prairie dogs using a raccoon pox (RCN) virus-vectored vaccine that expressed the F1 capsular antigen of Yersinia pestis. In order to improve vaccine efficacy, we have now constructed additional RCN-plague vaccines containing two different forms of the lcrV (V) gene, including full-length (Vfull) and a truncated form (V307). Mouse challenge studies with Y. pestis strain CO92 showed that vaccination with a combination of RCN-F1 and the truncated V construct (RCN-V307) provided the greatest improvement (P = 0.01) in protection against plague over vaccination with RCN-F1 alone. This effect was mediated primarily by anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies and both contributed independently to increased survival of vaccinated mice.

  17. The Plague of Thebes, a Historical Epidemic in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex

    PubMed Central

    Economopoulos, Konstantinos P.; Poulakou-Rebelakou, Effie; Androutsos, George; Tsiodras, Sotirios

    2012-01-01

    Sophocles, one of the most noted playwrights of the ancient world, wrote the tragedy Oedipus Rex in the first half of the decade 430–420 bc. A lethal plague is described in this drama. We adopted a critical approach to Oedipus Rex in analyzing the literary description of the disease, unraveling its clinical features, and defining a possible underlying cause. Our goals were to clarify whether the plague described in Oedipus Rex reflects an actual historical event; to compare it with the plague of Athens, which was described by Thucydides as occurring around the same time Sophocles wrote; and to propose a likely causative pathogen. A critical reading of Oedipus Rex and a comparison with Thucydides’ history, as well as a systematic review of historical data, strongly suggests that this epidemic was an actual event, possibly caused by Brucella abortus. PMID:22261081

  18. Post-epizootic surveys of waterfowl for duck plague (duck virus enteritis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, C.J.; Docherty, D.E.

    1988-01-01

    Surviving birds from nine duck plague outbreaks in urban and confined waterfowl were sampled for duck plague (DP) virus and DP antibody during 1979-86. Duck plague virus was found in combined oral and cloacal swabs of birds from three outbreaks, and DP-neutralizing antibody was demonstrated in some birds from all nine outbreaks. Greater prevalence of DP antibody and higher titers were found in survivors from confined populations than from free-flying urban populations. Free-flying waterfowl from within 52 km of four DP outbreak sites were also sampled; virus was not found in any birds, but DP antibody was found in urban waterfowl in the vicinity of an outbreak in Potterville, Michigan. No evidence of exposure to or shedding of DP virus in migratory waterfowl was found in two regions where DP appears enzootic in urban and confined waterfowl (Eastern Shore of Maryland and the vicinity of Sacramento, California).

  19. [A NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS. IN GORNYI ALTAI: FORMATION, DEVELOPMENT, AND FUNCTIONING].

    PubMed

    Korzun, V M; Balakhoiov, S V; Chpanin, E V; Denisov, A V; Mikhailov, E P; Mischenko, A J; Yarygina, M B; Rozhdestvensky, E N; Fomina, L A

    2016-01-01

    The paper gives the results of analyzing the data of long-term studies of the natural focal pattern of plague in the Gornyi Altai natural focus. It describes a wide range of biological processes occurring in the focus and shows the most important patterns of its functioning as a complex multilevel ecological system. The key features of the formation of the focus have been revealed. The plague focus in South-Western Altai has formed relatively, recently, about half a century ago, then it has intensively developed and its enzootic area and the activity of epizootic manifestations have considerably increased. This process is due to the space-time transformations of the basic ecological and population characteristics of Pallas' pika (Ochotoma pallasi), the principal vector of the pathogen of plague and fleas parasitizing the mammal, which is in turn related to the aridization of mountain steppes in South-Western Altai.

  20. Controlling Ebola: what we can learn from China's 1911 battle against the pneumonic plague in Manchuria.

    PubMed

    Liu, He; Jiao, Mingli; Zhao, Siqi; Xing, Kai; Li, Ye; Ning, Ning; Liang, Libo; Wu, Qunhong; Hao, Yanhua

    2015-04-01

    The pneumonic plague, which spread across Northeast China during the winter of 1910 and spring of 1911, caused numerous deaths and brought about severe social turmoil. After compulsory quarantine and other epidemic prevention measures were enforced by Dr Wu Lien-teh, the epidemic was brought to an end within 4 months. This article reviews the ways in which the plague was dealt with from a historical perspective, based on factors such as clinical manifestations, duration of illness, case fatality rate, degree of transmissibility, poverty, inadequate healthcare infrastructure, and the region's recent strife-filled history. Similarities were sought between the pneumonic plague in Northeast China in the twentieth century and the Ebola virus outbreak that is currently ravaging Africa, and an effort made to summarize the ways in which specific measures were applied successfully to fight the earlier epidemic. Our efforts highlight valuable experiences that are of potential benefit in helping to fight the current rampant Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

  1. Cyberspace modernization :

    SciTech Connect

    Keliiaa, Curtis M.; McLane, Victor N.

    2014-07-01

    A common challenge across the communications and information technology (IT) sectors is Internet + modernization + complexity + risk + cost. Cyberspace modernization and cyber security risks, issues, and concerns impact service providers, their customers, and the industry at large. Public and private sectors are struggling to solve the problem. New service opportunities lie in mobile voice, video, and data, and machine-to-machine (M2M) information and communication technologies that are migrating not only to predominant Internet Protocol (IP) communications, but also concurrently integrating IP, version 4 (IPv4) and IP, version 6 (IPv6). With reference to the Second Internet and the Internet of Things, next generation information services portend business survivability in the changing global market. The planning, architecture, and design information herein is intended to increase infrastructure preparedness, security, interoperability, resilience, and trust in the midst of such unprecedented change and opportunity. This document is a product of Sandia National Laboratories Tribal Cyber and IPv6 project work. It is a Cyberspace Modernization objective advisory in support of bridging the digital divide through strategic partnership and an informed path forward.

  2. Classic flea-borne transmission does not drive plague epizootics in prairie dogs

    PubMed Central

    Webb, Colleen T.; Brooks, Christopher P.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Antolin, Michael F.

    2006-01-01

    We lack a clear understanding of the enzootic maintenance of the bacterium (Yersinia pestis) that causes plague and the sporadic epizootics that occur in its natural rodent hosts. A key to elucidating these epidemiological dynamics is determining the dominant transmission routes of plague. Plague can be acquired from the bites of infectious fleas (which is generally considered to occur via a blocked flea vector), inhalation of infectious respiratory droplets, or contact with a short-term infectious reservoir. We present results from a plague modeling approach that includes transmission from all three sources of infection simultaneously and uses sensitivity analysis to determine their relative importance. Our model is completely parameterized by using data from the literature and our own field studies of plague in the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus). Results of the model are qualitatively and quantitatively consistent with independent data from our field sites. Although infectious fleas might be an important source of infection and transmission via blocked fleas is a dominant paradigm in the literature, our model clearly predicts that this form of transmission cannot drive epizootics in prairie dogs. Rather, a short-term reservoir is required for epizootic dynamics. Several short-term reservoirs have the potential to affect the prairie dog system. Our model predictions of the residence time of the short-term reservoir suggest that other small mammals, infectious prairie dog carcasses, fleas that transmit plague without blockage of the digestive tract, or some combination of these three are the most likely of the candidate infectious reservoirs. PMID:16603630

  3. [Preventive measures against plague and the control of Chinese coolies in colonial Korea].

    PubMed

    Kim, Youngsoo

    2014-12-01

    This paper aims to examine the preventive measures taken against the plague in colonial Korea, particularly as applied to the control of Chinese coolies in 1911, soon after the annexation. The Government General of Korea began preventive measures with a train quarantine in Shin'uiju and Incheon in response to the spread of the plague to the Southern Manchuria. Shin' uiju had become urbanized due the development of the transportation network, and the seaport of Incheon was the major hub for traffic with China. Examining the transportation routes for the entry and exit of Chinese to and from Korea makes clear the reason why the Korea Government General initiated preventive measures in mid-January, 1911. The Government General of Korea tried to block the entry of Chinese through the land border crossing with China and through ports of entry, primarily Incheon. During the implementation of the preventive measures, quarantine facilities were built, including a quarantine station and isolation facility in Incheon. It was also needed to investigate the population and residential locations of Chinese in Korea to prevent the spread of plague. A certificate of residence was issued to all Chinese in Korea, which they needed to carry when they travelled. The preventive measures against plague which broke out in Manchuria were removed gradually. However, there was no specific measures against Chinese coolies, those who had migrated from China to work in the spring in Korea. Still the Government General of Korea had doubt about an infection of the respiratory system. As a result, the labor market in colonial Korea underwent changes in this period. The Government General recruited Korean laborers, instead of Chinese coolies whose employment had been planned. This move explains the Government General's strong preventive measures against plague and uncertainty in the route of plague infection, which influenced subsequent regulations on the prohibition of Chinese coolies working on

  4. Scavenging by mammalian carnivores on prairie dog colonies: implications for the spread of plague.

    PubMed

    Boone, Amanda; Kraft, John P; Stapp, Paul

    2009-04-01

    Plague causes mass mortality of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in shortgrass steppe. Although the pathogen, the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is spread within colonies by flea bites or contact between infected hosts, it is unclear how Y. pestis is transported over long distances between isolated colonies. One possibility is that wideranging, plague-resistant mammalian carnivores pick up fleas when scavenging prairie dog carcasses. Using guinea pigs as surrogates for prairie dogs, we compared how quickly scavengers discovered carcasses on active prairie dog colonies, on colonies recently extirpated by plague, and in grasslands without prairie dogs. In June-July 2007, we monitored the fates of 20 guinea pig carcasses for 4 consecutive days on each site type. Ten carcasses were placed in wire exclosures that restricted access only to arthropods and small rodents; the other 10 were exposed to all scavengers. Scavengers were identified by tracks, evidence of consumption, and/or remote cameras. Carnivores discovered carcasses more quickly on active and plague colonies (mean +/- 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6 +/- 0.7, 1.4 +/- 1.4 days, respectively) than on grasslands (3.1 +/- 0.7 days). By the end of the trials, all (100%) exposed carcasses were removed from active colonies, whereas 60% were removed from plague colonies and 30% were removed from grasslands. Rates of carcass discovery and removal on active colonies were significantly greater than in grasslands, which mirrored differences in carnivore activity recorded during earlier scat surveys. A small fraction (30%-40%) of carcasses in exclosures were eaten by rodents, but only on active and plague colonies, suggesting that small rodents, presumably grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster), may also consume carcasses and pick up fleas if carcasses are not removed by carnivores first. These results, combined with observations that fleas remain alive on prairie dogs at least 1 day following their death, suggest that

  5. Two Distinct Yersinia pestis Populations Causing Plague among Humans in the West Nile Region of Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Respicio-Kingry, Laurel B.; Yockey, Brook M.; Acayo, Sarah; Kaggwa, John; Apangu, Titus; Kugeler, Kiersten J.; Eisen, Rebecca J.; Griffith, Kevin S.; Mead, Paul S.; Schriefer, Martin E.; Petersen, Jeannine M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Plague is a life-threatening disease caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis. Since the 1990s, Africa has accounted for the majority of reported human cases. In Uganda, plague cases occur in the West Nile region, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the ongoing risk of contracting plague in this region, little is known about Y. pestis genotypes causing human disease. Methodology/Principal Findings During January 2004–December 2012, 1,092 suspect human plague cases were recorded in the West Nile region of Uganda. Sixty-one cases were culture-confirmed. Recovered Y. pestis isolates were analyzed using three typing methods, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and multiple variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) and subpopulations analyzed in the context of associated geographic, temporal, and clinical data for source patients. All three methods separated the 61 isolates into two distinct 1.ANT lineages, which persisted throughout the 9 year period and were associated with differences in elevation and geographic distribution. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrate that human cases of plague in the West Nile region of Uganda are caused by two distinct 1.ANT genetic subpopulations. Notably, all three typing methods used, SNPs, PFGE, and MLVA, identified the two genetic subpopulations, despite recognizing different mutation types in the Y. pestis genome. The geographic and elevation differences between the two subpopulations is suggestive of their maintenance in highly localized enzootic cycles, potentially with differing vector-host community composition. This improved understanding of Y. pestis subpopulations in the West Nile region will be useful for identifying ecologic and environmental factors associated with elevated plague risk. PMID:26866815

  6. Use of Rhodamine B as a biomarker for oral plague vaccination of prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2011-01-01

    Oral vaccination against Yersinia pestis could provide a feasible approach for controlling plague in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) for conservation and public health purposes. Biomarkers are useful in wildlife vaccination programs to demonstrate exposure to vaccine baits. Rhodamine B (RB) was tested as a potential biomarker for oral plague vaccination because it allows nonlethal sampling of animals through hair, blood, and feces. We found that RB is an appropriate marker for bait uptake studies of C. ludovicianus) when used at concentrations <0.5% of bait mass dosed to deliver >10 mg RB per kg target animal mass. Whiskers with follicles provided the best sample for RB detection.

  7. Socio-epidemiological determinants of 2002 plague outbreak in Himachal Pradesh, India: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This qualitative investigation was conducted to determine the socio-epidemiological factors related to the plague outbreak (2002) in Himachal Pradesh (HP), India. Methods The data for socio-epidemiological factors related to the plague outbreak (2002) in HP was obtained from residents through 150 in-depth Interviews (IDI) and 30 Focus Group Discussions (FGD) during six visits (from May 2011 to April 2012) by the research team. Natives, health officials and the nomadic population were interviewed. According to their opinion and viewpoints data was collected and their lifestyle and hunting practices were studied in detail. Tape recorders were used during various FGDs and IDIs. The interviews and FGDs were later transcribed and coded. In-depth analysis of the recorded data was done using an inductive thematic analysis approach. Results The study reports that the outbreak in 2002 in a few villages of Himachal Pradesh was that of plague and it occurred by the contact of an index case with wild animals after hunting and de-skinning. The first wave of plague transmission which took 16 lives of residents was followed by a second wave of transmission in a ward of a tertiary care hospital where one visitor acquired it from relatives of the index case and succumbed. The life-style practices of residents (hunting behavior, long stay in caves and jungles, overcrowding in houses, poor hygiene and sanitation, belief in ‘God’ and faith healers for cure of diseases) was optimal for the occurrence and rapid spread of such a communicable disease. The man-rodent contact is intensified due to the practice of hunting in such a rodent-ridden environment. The residents harbor a strong belief that plague occurs due to the wrath of gods. Various un-reported outbreaks of plague were also observed by officials, residents and old folk. The persistence of plague in HP is favoured by its hilly terrain, inaccessible areas, inclement weather (snow) in winters, unhygienic lifestyle

  8. Spatial analysis and identification of high risk plague regions in Pakistan based on associated rodent species distribution.

    PubMed

    Shabbir, Madiha; Aleem, Maha; Javed, Sundus; Wagner, David M; Keim, Paul S; Eqani, Syed Ali Musstjab Akbar Shah; Bokhari, Habib

    2016-01-01

    Plague, caused by Yersinia pestitis, is an infectious bacterial disease that has a high fatality rate if untreated. Rodents are plague reservoirs and play an important role in disease spread. Plague cases have been reported extensively since the second pandemic from the 14th century in countries sharing borders with Pakistan, such as China and India, as well as nearby countries including Russia and central Asia. Despite being centrally located in a plague-infested geographical zone, there has been no plague incidence reported from Pakistan. This study aims to pinpoint some of the potentially important aspects of the disease, which have to be considered when assessing potential risk associated with a plague outbreak in Pakistan. In this context, the occurrence and distribution of plague-associated rodent reservoirs in different regions of Pakistan in relation to those found in the neighboring countries were mapped. In addition, the climatic factors that may also influence disease spread by affecting the growth of the bacteria are also discussed. The combined epidemiological and ecological surveillance studies suggest a prevalence of several potential rodent carriers in certain districts with the possibility of a plague outbreak in Pakistan. PMID:27482799

  9. Spatial analysis and identification of high risk plague regions in Pakistan based on associated rodent species distribution.

    PubMed

    Shabbir, Madiha; Aleem, Maha; Javed, Sundus; Wagner, David M; Keim, Paul S; Eqani, Syed Ali Musstjab Akbar Shah; Bokhari, Habib

    2016-08-02

    Plague, caused by Yersinia pestitis, is an infectious bacterial disease that has a high fatality rate if untreated. Rodents are plague reservoirs and play an important role in disease spread. Plague cases have been reported extensively since the second pandemic from the 14th century in countries sharing borders with Pakistan, such as China and India, as well as nearby countries including Russia and central Asia. Despite being centrally located in a plague-infested geographical zone, there has been no plague incidence reported from Pakistan. This study aims to pinpoint some of the potentially important aspects of the disease, which have to be considered when assessing potential risk associated with a plague outbreak in Pakistan. In this context, the occurrence and distribution of plague-associated rodent reservoirs in different regions of Pakistan in relation to those found in the neighboring countries were mapped. In addition, the climatic factors that may also influence disease spread by affecting the growth of the bacteria are also discussed. The combined epidemiological and ecological surveillance studies suggest a prevalence of several potential rodent carriers in certain districts with the possibility of a plague outbreak in Pakistan.

  10. A cluster of primary pneumonic plague transmitted in a truck cab in a new enzootic focus in China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Huiming; Dong, Xingqi; Li, Furong; Xie, Xu; Song, Zhizhong; Shao, Zhujun; Li, Zhongjie; Tong, Zhaohui; Wang, Guangfa; Zhang, Hongtao; Yang, Tielong; He, Gao; He, Zeyuan; Fontaine, Robert E; Zeng, Guang

    2013-05-01

    We investigated a cluster of five cases of severe pneumonia from one village in Yunnan Province, China. We searched for severe pneumonia in the village and hospitals. We interviewed patients and family members about exposures. We tested acute and convalescent sera for antigen and antibody of severe acute respiratory syndrome, avian influenza, and plague. The only common exposure of the five patients was riding together in the enclosed cab of a truck for 1.5 hours while taking the first patient to the hospital. Seroconversion to plague F1 antigen confirmed plague in three survivors. Unfamiliarity of clinicians with plague and lack of sputum examination, blood culture, or postmortem examination delayed the diagnosis. No plague cases occurred among family and village contacts and health care workers. High infectivity in this cluster was limited to a crowded, poorly ventilated truck.

  11. Spatial analysis of plague in California: niche modeling predictions of the current distribution and potential response to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Ashley C; Salkeld, Daniel J; Fritz, Curtis L; Tucker, James R; Gong, Peng

    2009-01-01

    Background Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a public and wildlife health concern in California and the western United States. This study explores the spatial characteristics of positive plague samples in California and tests Maxent, a machine-learning method that can be used to develop niche-based models from presence-only data, for mapping the potential distribution of plague foci. Maxent models were constructed using geocoded seroprevalence data from surveillance of California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) as case points and Worldclim bioclimatic data as predictor variables, and compared and validated using area under the receiver operating curve (AUC) statistics. Additionally, model results were compared to locations of positive and negative coyote (Canis latrans) samples, in order to determine the correlation between Maxent model predictions and areas of plague risk as determined via wild carnivore surveillance. Results Models of plague activity in California ground squirrels, based on recent climate conditions, accurately identified case locations (AUC of 0.913 to 0.948) and were significantly correlated with coyote samples. The final models were used to identify potential plague risk areas based on an ensemble of six future climate scenarios. These models suggest that by 2050, climate conditions may reduce plague risk in the southern parts of California and increase risk along the northern coast and Sierras. Conclusion Because different modeling approaches can yield substantially different results, care should be taken when interpreting future model predictions. Nonetheless, niche modeling can be a useful tool for exploring and mapping the potential response of plague activity to climate change. The final models in this study were used to identify potential plague risk areas based on an ensemble of six future climate scenarios, which can help public managers decide where to allocate surveillance resources. In addition, Maxent

  12. Contrasted Patterns of Selection on MHC-Linked Microsatellites in Natural Populations of the Malagasy Plague Reservoir

    PubMed Central

    Tollenaere, Charlotte; Ivanova, Svilena; Duplantier, Jean-Marc; Loiseau, Anne; Rahalison, Lila; Rahelinirina, Soanandrasana; Brouat, Carine

    2012-01-01

    Plague (Yersinia pestis infection) is a highly virulent rodent disease that persists in many natural ecosystems. The black rat (Rattus rattus) is the main host involved in the plague focus of the central highlands of Madagascar. Black rat populations from this area are highly resistant to plague, whereas those from areas in which the disease is absent (low altitude zones of Madagascar) are susceptible. Various lines of evidence suggest a role for the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) in plague resistance. We therefore used the MHC region as a candidate for detecting signatures of plague-mediated selection in Malagasy black rats, by comparing population genetic structures for five MHC-linked microsatellites and neutral markers in two sampling designs. We first compared four pairs of populations, each pair including one population from the plague focus and one from the disease-free zone. Plague-mediated selection was expected to result in greater genetic differentiation between the two zones than expected under neutrality and this was observed for one MHC-class I-linked locus (D20Img2). For this marker as well as for four other MHC-linked loci, a geographic pattern of genetic structure was found at local scale within the plague focus. This pattern would be expected if plague selection pressures were spatially variable. Finally, another MHC-class I-linked locus (D20Rat21) showed evidences of balancing selection, but it seems more likely that this selection would be related to unknown pathogens more widely distributed in Madagascar than plague. PMID:22403713

  13. Detections of Yersinia pestis East of the Known Distribution of Active Plague in the United States.

    PubMed

    Mize, Erica L; Britten, Hugh B

    2016-02-01

    We examined fleas collected from black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) burrows from 2009 through 2011 in five national park units east of the known distribution of active plague across the northern Great Plains for the presence of Yersinia pestis. Across all national park units, Oropsylla tuberculata and Oropsylla hirsuta were the most common fleas collected from prairie dog burrows, 42.4% and 56.9%, respectively, of the 3964 fleas collected from burrow swabbing. Using a nested PCR assay, we detected 200 Y. pestis-positive fleas from 3117 assays. In total, 6.4% of assayed fleas were Y. pestis positive and 13.9% of prairie dog burrows swabbed contained Y. pestis-positive fleas. Evidence of the presence of Y. pestis was observed at all national park units except Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. We detected the presence of Y. pestis without large die-offs, i.e., enzootic sylvatic plague, east of the known distribution of active plague and near the eastern edge of the present distribution of black-tailed prairie dogs. This study, in combination with previous work suggests that sylvatic plague likely occurs across the range of black-tailed prairie dogs and should now be treated as endemic across this range. PMID:26771845

  14. Eighteenth century Yersinia pestis genomes reveal the long-term persistence of an historical plague focus

    PubMed Central

    Bos, Kirsten I; Herbig, Alexander; Sahl, Jason; Waglechner, Nicholas; Fourment, Mathieu; Forrest, Stephen A; Klunk, Jennifer; Schuenemann, Verena J; Poinar, Debi; Kuch, Melanie; Golding, G Brian; Dutour, Olivier; Keim, Paul; Wagner, David M; Holmes, Edward C; Krause, Johannes; Poinar, Hendrik N

    2016-01-01

    The 14th–18th century pandemic of Yersinia pestis caused devastating disease outbreaks in Europe for almost 400 years. The reasons for plague’s persistence and abrupt disappearance in Europe are poorly understood, but could have been due to either the presence of now-extinct plague foci in Europe itself, or successive disease introductions from other locations. Here we present five Y. pestis genomes from one of the last European outbreaks of plague, from 1722 in Marseille, France. The lineage identified has not been found in any extant Y. pestis foci sampled to date, and has its ancestry in strains obtained from victims of the 14th century Black Death. These data suggest the existence of a previously uncharacterized historical plague focus that persisted for at least three centuries. We propose that this disease source may have been responsible for the many resurgences of plague in Europe following the Black Death. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12994.001 PMID:26795402

  15. Detections of Yersinia pestis East of the Known Distribution of Active Plague in the United States.

    PubMed

    Mize, Erica L; Britten, Hugh B

    2016-02-01

    We examined fleas collected from black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) burrows from 2009 through 2011 in five national park units east of the known distribution of active plague across the northern Great Plains for the presence of Yersinia pestis. Across all national park units, Oropsylla tuberculata and Oropsylla hirsuta were the most common fleas collected from prairie dog burrows, 42.4% and 56.9%, respectively, of the 3964 fleas collected from burrow swabbing. Using a nested PCR assay, we detected 200 Y. pestis-positive fleas from 3117 assays. In total, 6.4% of assayed fleas were Y. pestis positive and 13.9% of prairie dog burrows swabbed contained Y. pestis-positive fleas. Evidence of the presence of Y. pestis was observed at all national park units except Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. We detected the presence of Y. pestis without large die-offs, i.e., enzootic sylvatic plague, east of the known distribution of active plague and near the eastern edge of the present distribution of black-tailed prairie dogs. This study, in combination with previous work suggests that sylvatic plague likely occurs across the range of black-tailed prairie dogs and should now be treated as endemic across this range.

  16. Protecting Black-Footed Ferrets and Prairie Dogs Against Sylvatic Plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2008-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at other federal agencies and the University of Wisconsin, are developing and testing vaccines that can be used to protect black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs against plague. The black-footed ferret is commonly regarded as the most endangered mammal in North America, and sylvatic plague is a major impediment to its recovery. The three prairie dog species (Gunnison's, black-tailed, and white-tailed prairie dogs), upon which the ferret depends for food and whose burrows they use for shelter, have been drastically reduced from historical levels, resulting in the near extinction of the ferret. All three species are considered 'at risk' and have been petitioned for listing as 'threatened' or 'endangered' by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Additionally, the Utah prairie dog is listed as threatened and the Mexican prairie dog is considered endangered in Mexico. Like the black-footed ferret, all five prairie dog species are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Controlling plague outbreaks in prairie dogs and ferrets is a vital concern for ongoing recovery programs and conservation efforts for both species.

  17. The galenic plague: a breakdown of the imperial pathocoenosis. Pathocoenosis and longue durée.

    PubMed

    Gourevitch, Danielle

    2005-01-01

    Is 'pathocoenosis', a notion conceived and a word coined by Mirko Grmek (1969), useful as far as ancient history is concerned? The author is interested in Galenic pathocoenosis, that of doctor Galen and his Emperor Marcus Aurelius (IInd cent. A.D.), when a new 'pestilence' or 'plague' (smallpox?) devastated the whole empire, from Mesopotamia to the Danube at least. PMID:16894811

  18. Enzootic plague reduces black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) survival in Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matchett, Marc R.; Biggins, Dean E.; Carlson, Valerie; Powell, Bradford; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2010-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) require extensive prairie dog colonies (Cynomys spp.) to provide habitat and prey. Epizootic plague kills both prairie dogs and ferrets and is a major factor limiting recovery of the highly endangered ferret. In addition to epizootics, we hypothesized that enzootic plague, that is, presence of disease-causing Yersinia pestis without any noticeable prairie dog die off, may also affect ferret survival. We reduced risk of plague on portions of two ferret reintroduction areas by conducting flea control for 3 years. Beginning in 2004, about half of the ferrets residing on dusted and nondusted colonies were vaccinated against plague with an experimental vaccine (F1-V fusion protein). We evaluated 6-month reencounter rates (percentage of animals observed at the end of an interval that were known alive at the beginning of the interval), an index to survival, for ferrets in four treatment groups involving all combinations of vaccination and flea control. For captive-reared ferrets (115 individuals observed across 156 time intervals), reencounter rates were higher for vaccinates (0.44) than for nonvaccinates (0.23, p = 0.044) on colonies without flea control, but vaccination had no detectable effect on colonies with flea control (vaccinates = 0.41, nonvaccinates = 0.42, p = 0.754). Flea control resulted in higher reencounter rates for nonvaccinates (p = 0.026), but not for vaccinates (p = 0.508). The enhancement of survival due to vaccination or flea control supports the hypothesis that enzootic plague reduces ferret survival, even when there was no noticeable decline in prairie dog abundance. The collective effects of vaccination and flea control compel a conclusion that fleas are required for maintenance, and probably transmission, of plague at enzootic levels. Other studies have demonstrated similar effects of flea control on several species of prairie dogs and, when combined with this study, suggest

  19. Spatiotemporal dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Augustine, D.J.; Matchett, M.R.; Toombs, T.P.; Cully, J.F.; Johnson, T.L.; Sidle, John G.

    2008-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are a key component of the disturbance regime in semi-arid grasslands of central North America. Many studies have compared community and ecosystem characteristics on prairie dog colonies to grasslands without prairie dogs, but little is known about landscape-scale patterns of disturbance that prairie dog colony complexes may impose on grasslands over long time periods. We examined spatiotemporal dynamics in two prairie dog colony complexes in southeastern Colorado (Comanche) and northcentral Montana (Phillips County) that have been strongly influenced by plague, and compared them to a complex unaffected by plague in northwestern Nebraska (Oglala). Both plague-affected complexes exhibited substantial spatiotemporal variability in the area occupied during a decade, in contrast to the stability of colonies in the Oglala complex. However, the plague-affected complexes differed in spatial patterns of colony movement. Colonies in the Comanche complex in shortgrass steppe shifted locations over a decade. Only 10% of the area occupied in 1995 was still occupied by prairie dogs in 2006. In 2005 and 2006 respectively, 74 and 83% of the total area of the Comanche complex occurred in locations that were not occupied in 1995, and only 1% of the complex was occupied continuously over a decade. In contrast, prairie dogs in the Phillips County complex in mixed-grass prairie and sagebrush steppe primarily recolonized previously occupied areas after plague-induced colony declines. In Phillips County, 62% of the area occupied in 1993 was also occupied by prairie dogs in 2004, and 12% of the complex was occupied continuously over a decade. Our results indicate that plague accelerates spatiotemporal movement of prairie dog colonies, and have significant implications for landscape-scale effects of prairie dog disturbance on grassland composition and productivity. These findings highlight the need to combine landscape-scale measures of

  20. [The first and the second pneumonic plague in Manchuria and the preventive measure of Japanese colonial authorities (1910-1921)].

    PubMed

    Sihn, Kyu-Hwan

    2012-12-01

    During the first plague epidemic in Manchuria (1910-1911), Japanese Government-General in Korea had not reported a plague patient at all in official. This did not mean the preventive measure of colonial authorities was successful. Their prevention program and measure were operated inadequately. They focused on instigative and sometimes irrelevant aspects such as rat removal to restore order in the colony. The quarantine facility was insufficient so that some people could not be effectively isolated. The reason pneumonic plague did not spread from Manchuria to Korea was mostly because Chinese coolie did not enter Korea. The colonial government promulgated Jeonyeombyeong Yebangryeong (Preventive Regulation of Contagious Disease) in June 5, 1915. This regulation aimed at unitary control by police and was strengthened 10-day quarantine. After the March First Movement, the colonial government tried to change imperial policy to cultural policy. The military police and civilian police were bifurcated and governors took charge of health administration. However, sanitary police still played important role for preventive measure. The preventive policy of colonial government experienced important change from cholera epidemic between 1919 and 1920. The death toll of two years had exceeded 20,000 people. During the cholera outbreak of two years, quarantine and isolation were emerged as important tools to prevent disease transmission, and were well-appointed more now than before. To prevent cholera epidemic, the colonial government strengthened house-to-house inspection as well as seaport quarantine, train quarantine, passenger quarantine. House-to-house inspection detected sixty percentage of cholera patients. When the second Manchurian plague spread in Korea in 1920-1921, this plague was known to Korean people as pneumonic plague. The colonial government propagated and educated pneumonic plague, and urged to wear a mask through Heuksabyeong Yebang Simdeuk (The Notandum for

  1. Highly Effective Soluble and Bacteriophage T4 Nanoparticle Plague Vaccines Against Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Rao, Venigalla B

    2016-01-01

    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis is an ancient disease, responsible for millions of deaths in human history. Unfortunately, there is no FDA-approved vaccine available. Recombinant subunit vaccines based on two major antigens, Caf 1 (F1) and LcrV (V), have been under investigation and showed promise. However, there are two main problems associated with these vaccines. First, the Yersinia capsular protein F1 has high propensity to aggregate, particularly when expressed in heterologous systems such as Escherichia coli, thus affecting vaccine quality and efficacy. Second, the subunit vaccines do not induce adequate cell-mediated immune responses that also appear to be essential for optimal protection against plague. We have developed two basic approaches, structure-based immunogen design and phage T4 nanoparticle delivery, to construct new plague vaccines that may overcome these problems. First, by engineering F1 protein, we generated a monomeric and soluble F1V mutant (F1mutV) which has similar immunogenicity as wild-type F1V. The NH2-terminal β-strand of F1 was transplanted to the COOH-terminus and the sequence flanking the β-strand was duplicated to retain a key CD4(+) T cell epitope. Second, we generated a nanoparticle plague vaccine that can induce balanced antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses. This was done by arraying the F1mutV on phage T4 via the small outer capsid (Soc) protein which binds to T4 capsid at nanomolar affinity. Preparation of these vaccines is described in detail and we hope that these would be considered as candidates for licensing a next-generation plague vaccine. PMID:27076150

  2. Highly Effective Soluble and Bacteriophage T4 Nanoparticle Plague Vaccines Against Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Rao, Venigalla B

    2016-01-01

    Plague caused by Yersinia pestis is an ancient disease, responsible for millions of deaths in human history. Unfortunately, there is no FDA-approved vaccine available. Recombinant subunit vaccines based on two major antigens, Caf 1 (F1) and LcrV (V), have been under investigation and showed promise. However, there are two main problems associated with these vaccines. First, the Yersinia capsular protein F1 has high propensity to aggregate, particularly when expressed in heterologous systems such as Escherichia coli, thus affecting vaccine quality and efficacy. Second, the subunit vaccines do not induce adequate cell-mediated immune responses that also appear to be essential for optimal protection against plague. We have developed two basic approaches, structure-based immunogen design and phage T4 nanoparticle delivery, to construct new plague vaccines that may overcome these problems. First, by engineering F1 protein, we generated a monomeric and soluble F1V mutant (F1mutV) which has similar immunogenicity as wild-type F1V. The NH2-terminal β-strand of F1 was transplanted to the COOH-terminus and the sequence flanking the β-strand was duplicated to retain a key CD4(+) T cell epitope. Second, we generated a nanoparticle plague vaccine that can induce balanced antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses. This was done by arraying the F1mutV on phage T4 via the small outer capsid (Soc) protein which binds to T4 capsid at nanomolar affinity. Preparation of these vaccines is described in detail and we hope that these would be considered as candidates for licensing a next-generation plague vaccine.

  3. Changes in the epidemiology of plague in Egypt, 1899-1951

    PubMed Central

    Hussein, Abdel Gawad

    1955-01-01

    The author of this article discusses the epidemiology of plague in Egypt from its reintroduction in that country in 1899 until 1951. Dealing first with the period 1899-1945, before the introduction of DDT, he notes that plague was first reported in the ports and then spread rapidly inland; in contrast with previous epidemics, the prevalence was greater in Upper than in Lower Egypt. By 1937 the whole of Lower Egypt had become free of the disease, which, however, persisted in endemo-epidemic form in Upper Egypt until 1941. The reasons for the slighter severity of this third plague pandemic in Egypt compared with the previous history of the disease there are discussed, particularly in connexion with the role played by rodents. Details of the number of rats captured and of flea indices are given for the years from 1937 onwards. In 1941 a scheme was introduced for the control of rats in river and canal craft in order to prevent the spread of plague inland from the ports. The details of this scheme are given, and the significant fact is noted that no case of plague was reported inland from 1941 to 1945 despite an outbreak during that time in the Suez Canal Zone. Turning to the period 1946-51, after the introduction of DDT, the author discusses the Alexandria epidemic of 1946-47, giving rat and flea counts and describing the control methods adopted, which included the use of poison baits and DDT. Dusting both persons and rat burrows with DDT has clearly resulted in a sharp decrease in flea indices, and the periodical use of DDT and Gammexane in port areas since 1950 has been shown to yield good results. PMID:13260881

  4. Influence of satellite-derived rainfall patterns on plague occurrence in northeast Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background In the tropics, rainfall data are seldom accurately recorded, and are often discontinuous in time. In the scope of plague-research in northeast Tanzania, we adapted previous research to reconstruct rainfall patterns at a suitable resolution (1 km), based on time series of NDVI: more accurate satellite imagery was used, in the form of MODIS NDVI, and rainfall data were collected from the TRMM sensors instead of in situ data. First, we established a significant relationship between monthly rainfall and monthly composited MODIS NDVI. The established linear relationship was then used to reconstruct historic precipitation patterns over a mountainous area in northeastern Tanzania. Results We validated the resulting precipitation estimates with in situ rainfall time series of three meteorological stations located in the study area. Taking the region's topography into account, a correlation coefficient of 0.66 was obtained for two of the three meteorological stations. Our results suggest that the adapted strategy can be applied fruitfully to estimate rainfall variability and seasonality, despite the underestimation of overall rainfall rates. Based on this model, rainfall in previous years (1986) is modelled to obtain a dataset with which we can compare plague occurrence in the area. A positive correlation of 82% is obtained between high rainfall rates and plague incidence with a two month lag between rainfall and plague cases. Conclusions We conclude that the obtained results are satisfactory in support of the human plague research in which this study is embedded, and that this approach can be applied in other studies with similar goals. PMID:21144014

  5. Modeling susceptible infective recovered dynamics and plague persistence in California rodent-flea communities.

    PubMed

    Foley, Patrick; Foley, Janet

    2010-01-01

    Plague persists as an enzootic in several very different rodent-flea communities around the world. In California, a diversity of rodent-flea communities maintains the disease, and a single-host reservoir seems unlikely. Logistic regression of plague presence on climate and topographic variables predicts plague in many localities where it is absent. Thus, a dynamic community-based analysis was needed. Deterministic Susceptible Infective Recovered (SIR) models were adapted for plague and analyzed with an eye for insights concerning disease persistence. An R simulation program, Plaguesirs, was developed incorporating multihost and multivector SIR dynamics, demographic and environmental stochasticity, density dependence, and seasonal variation in birth and death. Flea-rodent utilization matrices allowed us to get transmission rates as well as flea carrying capacities. Rodent densities allowed us to estimate host carrying capacities, while maximum birth rates were mainly approximated through an examination of litter phenology and demography. We ran a set of simulations to assess the role of community structure in maintaining plague in a simulated version of Chuchupate campground in Ventura County. Although the actual campground comprises 10 rodent and 19 flea species, we focused on a subset suspected to act as a reservoir community. This included the vole Microtus californicus, the deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus, the Ceratophyllid fleas Aetheca wagneri and Malareus telchinum, and the Leptopsyllid flea Peromyscopsylla hesperomys. The dynamics of 21 subsets of this community were simulated for 20 years. Single-rodent communities showed much lower disease persistence than two-rodent communities. However, so long as Malareus was present, endemicity was enhanced; removal of the other two fleas slightly increased disease persistence. Two critical features improved disease persistence: (1) host breeding season heterogeneity and (2) host population augmentation (due to two

  6. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis Transmission Pathways for Sylvatic Plague in Prairie Dog Populations in the Western U.S.

    PubMed

    Richgels, Katherine L D; Russell, Robin E; Bron, Gebbiena M; Rocke, Tonie E

    2016-06-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation. PMID:27234457

  7. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis transmission pathways for sylvatic plague in prairie dog populations in the western U.S.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Bron, Gebbiena; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2016-01-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation.

  8. Yersinia pestis DNA from Skeletal Remains from the 6th Century AD Reveals Insights into Justinianic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Harbeck, Michaela; Seifert, Lisa; Hänsch, Stephanie; Wagner, David M.; Birdsell, Dawn; Parise, Katy L.; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Thomas, Astrid; Keim, Paul; Zöller, Lothar; Bramanti, Barbara; Riehm, Julia M.; Scholz, Holger C.

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of the disease plague, has been implicated in three historical pandemics. These include the third pandemic of the 19th and 20th centuries, during which plague was spread around the world, and the second pandemic of the 14th–17th centuries, which included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death. Previous studies have confirmed that Y. pestis caused these two more recent pandemics. However, a highly spirited debate still continues as to whether Y. pestis caused the so-called Justinianic Plague of the 6th–8th centuries AD. By analyzing ancient DNA in two independent ancient DNA laboratories, we confirmed unambiguously the presence of Y. pestis DNA in human skeletal remains from an Early Medieval cemetery. In addition, we narrowed the phylogenetic position of the responsible strain down to major branch 0 on the Y. pestis phylogeny, specifically between nodes N03 and N05. Our findings confirm that Y. pestis was responsible for the Justinianic Plague, which should end the controversy regarding the etiology of this pandemic. The first genotype of a Y. pestis strain that caused the Late Antique plague provides important information about the history of the plague bacillus and suggests that the first pandemic also originated in Asia, similar to the other two plague pandemics. PMID:23658525

  9. Evaluation of Yersinia pestis Transmission Pathways for Sylvatic Plague in Prairie Dog Populations in the Western U.S.

    PubMed

    Richgels, Katherine L D; Russell, Robin E; Bron, Gebbiena M; Rocke, Tonie E

    2016-06-01

    Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is periodically responsible for large die-offs in rodent populations that can spillover and cause human mortalities. In the western US, prairie dog populations experience nearly 100% mortality during plague outbreaks, suggesting that multiple transmission pathways combine to amplify plague dynamics. Several alternate pathways in addition to flea vectors have been proposed, such as transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, consumption of carcasses, and environmental sources of plague bacteria, such as contaminated soil. However, evidence supporting the ability of these proposed alternate pathways to trigger large-scale epizootics remains elusive. Here we present a short review of potential plague transmission pathways and use an ordinary differential equation model to assess the contribution of each pathway to resulting plague dynamics in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and their fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta). Using our model, we found little evidence to suggest that soil contamination was capable of producing plague epizootics in prairie dogs. However, in the absence of flea transmission, direct transmission, i.e., contact with bodily fluids or inhalation of infectious droplets, could produce enzootic dynamics, and transmission via contact with or consumption of carcasses could produce epizootics. This suggests that these pathways warrant further investigation.

  10. Yersinia pestis DNA from skeletal remains from the 6(th) century AD reveals insights into Justinianic Plague.

    PubMed

    Harbeck, Michaela; Seifert, Lisa; Hänsch, Stephanie; Wagner, David M; Birdsell, Dawn; Parise, Katy L; Wiechmann, Ingrid; Grupe, Gisela; Thomas, Astrid; Keim, Paul; Zöller, Lothar; Bramanti, Barbara; Riehm, Julia M; Scholz, Holger C

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of the disease plague, has been implicated in three historical pandemics. These include the third pandemic of the 19(th) and 20(th) centuries, during which plague was spread around the world, and the second pandemic of the 14(th)-17(th) centuries, which included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death. Previous studies have confirmed that Y. pestis caused these two more recent pandemics. However, a highly spirited debate still continues as to whether Y. pestis caused the so-called Justinianic Plague of the 6(th)-8(th) centuries AD. By analyzing ancient DNA in two independent ancient DNA laboratories, we confirmed unambiguously the presence of Y. pestis DNA in human skeletal remains from an Early Medieval cemetery. In addition, we narrowed the phylogenetic position of the responsible strain down to major branch 0 on the Y. pestis phylogeny, specifically between nodes N03 and N05. Our findings confirm that Y. pestis was responsible for the Justinianic Plague, which should end the controversy regarding the etiology of this pandemic. The first genotype of a Y. pestis strain that caused the Late Antique plague provides important information about the history of the plague bacillus and suggests that the first pandemic also originated in Asia, similar to the other two plague pandemics.

  11. [Yersinia pestis factors, assuring circulation and maintenance of the plague pathogen in natural foci ecosystems. Report 1].

    PubMed

    Anisimov, A P

    2002-01-01

    Everlasting reproduction of Yersinia pestis, plague bacillus in natural pestholes needs virulent causative agent to invade into the host entity, be potent to overcome protection powers of the rodent organism and to pullulate to entail bacteriemia for subsequent conveyance the plague bacillus to the new host by fleas. All of legs of life cyclic patterns of Yersinia pestis are maintained by a number of plague bacillus factors acting jointly or separately, participating at the different stages of infectious process or conveyance. However these factors provide the perpetuation of the plague bacillus in the ecosystems of natural pestholes only acting in conjunction independently on their distinct contributions. Not only biomolecules, organellas and bacteria systems ensured the pursuance of virulent properties, but other factors, essential for survival of Yersinia pestis and the relationship between separate virulence factors and expression of the different genes of housekeeping and virulence of plague bacillus are considered in this review. The report I covers the problems concerned with adaptational plasticity of Yersinia pestis, it represents the classification of plague causative factors, securing its perpetuation in the environmental space, and discussion the factors promoting plague bacillus survival in the host entity. Not only wellknown publications, but papers in out-of-the-way or hard-to-reach, especially for English-reading experts, editions, also were used to compile this communication. The English version of this review may be requested from Alerton Press. PMID:12243063

  12. [IMPACT OF CASPIAN SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS ON THE EPIZOOTIC ACTIVITY OF THE CASPIAN SANDY NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS].

    PubMed

    Popov, N V; Udovikov, A I; Eroshenko, G A; Karavaeva, T B; Yakovlev, S A; Porshakov, A M; Zenkevich, E S; Kutyrev, V V

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence that in 1923-2014 the sharp aggravations of the epizootic situation of plague in the area of its Caspian sandy natural focus after long interepizootic periods are in time with the ups of the Caspian Sea in the extrema of 11-year solar cycles. There were cases of multiple manifestations of plague in the same areas in the epizootic cycles of 1946-1954, 1979-1996, 2001, and 2013-2014. The paper considers the possible role of amebae of the genus Acanthamoeba and nematodes, the representatives of the orders Rhabditida and Tylenchida in the microfocal pattern of plague manifestations. PMID:27029140

  13. [IMPACT OF CASPIAN SEA LEVEL FLUCTUATIONS ON THE EPIZOOTIC ACTIVITY OF THE CASPIAN SANDY NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS].

    PubMed

    Popov, N V; Udovikov, A I; Eroshenko, G A; Karavaeva, T B; Yakovlev, S A; Porshakov, A M; Zenkevich, E S; Kutyrev, V V

    2016-01-01

    There is evidence that in 1923-2014 the sharp aggravations of the epizootic situation of plague in the area of its Caspian sandy natural focus after long interepizootic periods are in time with the ups of the Caspian Sea in the extrema of 11-year solar cycles. There were cases of multiple manifestations of plague in the same areas in the epizootic cycles of 1946-1954, 1979-1996, 2001, and 2013-2014. The paper considers the possible role of amebae of the genus Acanthamoeba and nematodes, the representatives of the orders Rhabditida and Tylenchida in the microfocal pattern of plague manifestations.

  14. Curling Edges: A Problem that Has Plagued Scrolls for Millennia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Ming-Han; Shen, Wei-Chao; Wang, Yi-Ping; Hung, Sun-Hsin; Hong, Tzay-Ming

    2014-01-01

    Qi-Wa refers to the up curl on the lengths of hand scrolls and hanging scrolls, which has troubled Chinese artisans and emperors for as long as the art of painting and calligraphy has existed. This warp is unwelcome not only for aesthetic reasons, but its potential damage to the fiber and ink. Although it is generally treated as a part of the cockling and curling due to moisture, consistency of paste, and defects from the mounting procedures, we demonstrate that the spontaneous extrinsic curvature incurred from the storage is in fact more essential to understanding and curing Qi-Wa. In contrast to the former factors whose effects are less predictable, the plastic deformation and strain distribution on a membrane are a well-defined mechanical problem. We study this phenomenon by experiments, theoretical models, and molecular dynamics simulation, and obtain consistent scaling relations for the Qi-Wa height. This knowledge enables us to propose modifications on the traditional mounting techniques that are tested on real mounted paper to be effective at mitigating Qi-Wa. By experimenting on polymer-based films, we demonstrate the possible relevance of our study to the modern development of flexible electronic paper.

  15. Edge curling that has plagued scrolls for millenniums

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Ming-Han; Shen, Wei-Chao; Wang, Yi-Ping; Hung, Sun-Hsin; Hong, Tzay-Ming; Department of Registration and Conservation, National Palace Museum Collaboration; Department of Physics, National Tsing Hua University Team

    2014-03-01

    Qi-Wa refers to the up curl on the lengths of handscrolls and hanging scrolls, which has troubled Chinese artisans and emperors for as long as the art of painting and calligraphy exists. This warp is unwelcome not only for aesthetic reasons, but its potential damage to the fiber and ink. Although it is generally treated as a part of the cockling and curling due to moisture, consistency of paste, and defects from the mounting procedures, we demonstrate that the spontaneous extrinsic curvature incurred from the storage is in fact more essential to understanding and curing Qi-Wa. In contrast to the former factors whose effects are less predictable, the plastic deformation and strain distribution on a membrane are a well-defined mechanical problem. We study this phenomenon by experiments, theoretical models, and Molecular Dynamics Simulation, and obtain consistent scaling relations for the Qi-Wa height. This knowledge enables us to propose modifications on the traditional mounting techniques, that are tested on real mounted paper to be effective at mitigating Qi-Wa. By experimenting on polymer-based films, we demonstrate possible relevance of our study to the modern development of flexible electronic paper.

  16. Curling edges: a problem that has plagued scrolls for millennia.

    PubMed

    Chou, Ming-Han; Shen, Wei-Chao; Wang, Yi-Ping; Hung, Sun-Hsin; Hong, Tzay-Ming

    2014-01-24

    Qi-Wa refers to the up curl on the lengths of hand scrolls and hanging scrolls, which has troubled Chinese artisans and emperors for as long as the art of painting and calligraphy has existed. This warp is unwelcome not only for aesthetic reasons, but its potential damage to the fiber and ink. Although it is generally treated as a part of the cockling and curling due to moisture, consistency of paste, and defects from the mounting procedures, we demonstrate that the spontaneous extrinsic curvature incurred from the storage is in fact more essential to understanding and curing Qi-Wa. In contrast to the former factors whose effects are less predictable, the plastic deformation and strain distribution on a membrane are a well-defined mechanical problem. We study this phenomenon by experiments, theoretical models, and molecular dynamics simulation, and obtain consistent scaling relations for the Qi-Wa height. This knowledge enables us to propose modifications on the traditional mounting techniques that are tested on real mounted paper to be effective at mitigating Qi-Wa. By experimenting on polymer-based films, we demonstrate the possible relevance of our study to the modern development of flexible electronic paper. PMID:24484142

  17. Scurvy: historically a plague of the sailor that remains a consideration in the modern intensive care unit.

    PubMed

    Holley, A D; Osland, E; Barnes, J; Krishnan, A; Fraser, J F

    2011-03-01

    We report the case of the case of a 56 year old female with sepsis on a background of rheumatoid arthritis and steroid use manifesting with overt clinical features of scurvy. Ascorbic acid assays were able to demonstrate severe deficiency and confirm a diagnosis of scurvy. Clinical resolution of signs and symptoms following commencement of vitamin C replacement was rapid. The intensivist and dietitian need to consider this diagnosis even in the first world setting, particularly in the presence of sepsis, inflammatory conditions, steroid use and importantly malnutrition.

  18. A survey of North American migratory waterfowl for duck plague (duck virus enteritis) virus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, Christopher J.; Docherty, Douglas E.

    1984-01-01

    A survey of migratory waterfowl for duck plague (DP) virus was conducted in the Mississippi and Central flyways during 1982 and in the Atlantic and Pacific flyways during 1983. Cloacal and pharyngeal swabs were collected from 3,169 migratory waterfowl in these four flyways, principally mallards (Anas platyrhynchos L.), black ducks (Anas rubripes Brewster), and pintails (Anas acuta L). In addition 1,033 birds were sampled from areas of recurrent DP outbreaks among nonmigratory and captive waterfowl, and 590 from Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge, the site of the only known major DP outbreak in migratory waterfowl. Duck plague virus was not found in any of the samples. Results support the hypothesis that DP is not established in North American migratory waterfowl as an enzootic disease.

  19. Use of rhodamine B as a biomarker for oral plague vaccination of prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Rocke, Tonie E

    2011-07-01

    Oral vaccination against Yersinia pestis could provide a feasible approach for controlling plague in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) for conservation and public health purposes. Biomarkers are useful in wildlife vaccination programs to demonstrate exposure to vaccine baits. Rhodamine B (RB) was tested as a potential biomarker for oral plague vaccination because it allows nonlethal sampling of animals through hair, blood, and feces. We found that RB is an appropriate marker for bait uptake studies of <60 days in black-tailed prairie dogs (C. ludovicianus) when used at concentrations <0.5% of bait mass dosed to deliver >10 mg RB per kg target animal mass. Whiskers with follicles provided the best sample for RB detection. PMID:21719849

  20. Effects of land use on plague (Yersinia pestis) activity in rodents in Tanzania.

    PubMed

    McCauley, Douglas J; Salkeld, Daniel J; Young, Hillary S; Makundi, Rhodes; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Eckerlin, Ralph P; Lambin, Eric F; Gaffikin, Lynne; Barry, Michele; Helgen, Kristofer M

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the effects of land-use change on zoonotic disease risk is a pressing global health concern. Here, we compare prevalence of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, in rodents across two land-use types-agricultural and conserved-in northern Tanzania. Estimated abundance of seropositive rodents nearly doubled in agricultural sites compared with conserved sites. This relationship between land-use type and abundance of seropositive rodents is likely mediated by changes in rodent and flea community composition, particularly via an increase in the abundance of the commensal species, Mastomys natalensis, in agricultural habitats. There was mixed support for rodent species diversity negatively impacting Y. pestis seroprevalence. Together, these results suggest that land-use change could affect the risk of local transmission of plague, and raise critical questions about transmission dynamics at the interface of conserved and agricultural habitats. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding disease ecology in the context of rapidly proceeding landscape change.

  1. Epidemiology of human plague in the United States, 1900-2012.

    PubMed

    Kugeler, Kiersten J; Staples, J Erin; Hinckley, Alison F; Gage, Kenneth L; Mead, Paul S

    2015-01-01

    We summarize the characteristics of 1,006 cases of human plague occurring in the United States over 113 years, beginning with the first documented case in 1900. Three distinct eras can be identified on the basis of the frequency, nature, and geographic distribution of cases. During 1900-1925, outbreaks were common but were restricted to populous port cities. During 1926-1964, the geographic range of disease expanded rapidly, while the total number of reported cases fell. During 1965-2012, sporadic cases occurred annually, primarily in the rural Southwest. Clinical and demographic features of human illness have shifted over time as the disease has moved from crowded cities to the rural West. These shifts reflect changes in the populations at risk, the advent of antibiotics, and improved detection of more clinically indistinct forms of infection. Overall, the emergence of human plague in the United States parallels observed patterns of introduction of exotic plants and animals.

  2. [CONTEMPORARY TENDENCIES IN CONSTRUCTING RECOMBINANT VACCINES FOR SPECIFIC PROPHYLAXIS OF PLAGUE].

    PubMed

    Mikshis, N I; Kudryavtseva, O M; Kutyrev, V V

    2015-01-01

    An importance place in the system of prophylaxis measures against plague is allotted to vaccination of population contingents, that belong to risk groups for infection. The whole arsenal of accumulated knowledge on structure, properties, molecular nature, genetic determination, synthesis pathways, regulation and mechanisms of interaction with macroorganism of pathogenicity factors and immunogenicity of the infectious disease causative agent is used in the creation of new generation of vaccines. Contemporary technologies--genomics, proteomics, reverse vaccinology facilitate detection of protective antigens and help determine rational design of the vaccines. Main tendencies in development of recombinant live and chemical vaccines for specific prophylaxis of plague are presented in the review. Constructive approaches, that allow to produce highly effective and safe preparations are isolated.

  3. Epidemiology of Human Plague in the United States, 1900–2012

    PubMed Central

    Staples, J. Erin; Hinckley, Alison F.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Mead, Paul S.

    2015-01-01

    We summarize the characteristics of 1,006 cases of human plague occurring in the United States over 113 years, beginning with the first documented case in 1900. Three distinct eras can be identified on the basis of the frequency, nature, and geographic distribution of cases. During 1900–1925, outbreaks were common but were restricted to populous port cities. During 1926–1964, the geographic range of disease expanded rapidly, while the total number of reported cases fell. During 1965–2012, sporadic cases occurred annually, primarily in the rural Southwest. Clinical and demographic features of human illness have shifted over time as the disease has moved from crowded cities to the rural West. These shifts reflect changes in the populations at risk, the advent of antibiotics, and improved detection of more clinically indistinct forms of infection. Overall, the emergence of human plague in the United States parallels observed patterns of introduction of exotic plants and animals. PMID:25529546

  4. High Throughput, Multiplexed Pathogen Detection Authenticates Plague Waves in Medieval Venice, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Thi-Nguyen-Ny; Signoli, Michel; Fozzati, Luigi; Aboudharam, Gérard; Raoult, Didier; Drancourt, Michel

    2011-01-01

    Background Historical records suggest that multiple burial sites from the 14th–16th centuries in Venice, Italy, were used during the Black Death and subsequent plague epidemics. Methodology/Principal Findings High throughput, multiplexed real-time PCR detected DNA of seven highly transmissible pathogens in 173 dental pulp specimens collected from 46 graves. Bartonella quintana DNA was identified in five (2.9%) samples, including three from the 16th century and two from the 15th century, and Yersinia pestis DNA was detected in three (1.7%) samples, including two from the 14th century and one from the 16th century. Partial glpD gene sequencing indicated that the detected Y. pestis was the Orientalis biotype. Conclusions These data document for the first time successive plague epidemics in the medieval European city where quarantine was first instituted in the 14th century. PMID:21423736

  5. [Plague and creative art. On the influential effect on art of the 14th century by black death].

    PubMed

    Seiler, R

    1990-01-01

    The present paper tries to shed light on the influence of the plague upon art. It considers above all the period after the "Black Death", i.e. the second half of the 14th century. Some changes of art are quantitative: its production is lessened by the effects of the plague--e.g. by the death of an artist--or increased by religious donations. The influence on style is similarly contradictory. Retardation as well as acceleration of the stylistic development can be observed. A third point consists in the changes in iconography of "Post-Plague-Art", showing a different interpretation of existing themes or introducing new ones. The varied conditions of production and reception of the different artistic genres makes the examination of the interaction between plague and art extremely complex.

  6. Venetian Rule and Control of Plague Epidemics on the Ionian Islands during 17th and 18th Centuries

    PubMed Central

    Konstantinidou, Katerina; Mantadakis, Elpis; Sardi, Thalia; Samonis, George

    2009-01-01

    During the 17th and 18th centuries, measures were taken by the Venetian administration to combat plague on the Ionian Islands. At that time, although the scientific basis of plague was unknown, the Venetians recognized its infectious nature and successfully decreased its spread by implementing an information network. Additionally, by activating a system of inspection that involved establishing garrisons along the coasts, the Venetians were able to control all local movements in plague-infested areas, which were immediately isolated. In contrast, the neighboring coast of mainland Greece, which was under Ottoman rule, was a plague-endemic area during the same period. We conclude that even in the absence of scientific knowledge, close observation and social and political measures can effectively restrain infectious outbreaks to the point of disappearance. PMID:19116047

  7. Effects of weather and plague-induced die-offs of prairie dogs on the fleas of northern grasshopper mice.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Stapp, Paul

    2009-05-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, can have devastating impacts on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus Ord). Other mammal hosts living on prairie dog colonies may be important in the transmission and maintenance of plague. We examined the flea populations of northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster Wied) before, during, and after plague epizootics in northern Colorado and studied the influence of host and environmental factors on flea abundance patterns. Grasshopper mice were frequently infested with high numbers of fleas, most commonly Pleochaetis exilis Jordan and Thrassis fotus Jordan. Flea loads changed in response to both environmental temperature and rainfall. After plague-induced prairie dog die-offs, flea loads and likelihood of infestation were unchanged for P. exilis, but T. fotus loads declined. PMID:19496431

  8. The Great Plague of 1665 as a Study in Human Reactions to Disaster

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Morgan

    1963-01-01

    Daniel Defoe's “A Journal of The Plague Year” is reviewed in the light of disaster studies some three centuries later. Familiar disaster phenomena are described, as well as events that were different or perhaps unique. Leadership by civic authorities is noted. The conclusion is one that is familiar in this nuclear age, viz. survivors “should stand stock-still... and not shift”. PMID:20327420

  9. The Eyam plague revisited: did the village isolation change transmission from fleas to pulmonary?

    PubMed

    Massad, E; Coutinho, F A B; Burattini, M N; Lopez, L F

    2004-01-01

    Back in the 17th century the Derbyshire village of Eyam fell victim to the Black Death, which is thought to have arrived from London in some old clothes brought by a travelling tailor. The village population was 350 at the commencement of plague, of which only 83 survived. Led by the church leaders, the village community realized that the whole surrounding region was at risk from the epidemic, and therefore decided to seal themselves off from the other surrounding villages. In the first 275 days of the outbreak, transmission was predominantly from infected fleas to susceptible humans. From then onward, mortality sharply increased, which indicates a changing in transmission pattern. We hypothesize that the confinement facilitated the spread of the infection by increasing the contact rate through direct transmission among humans. This would be more consistent with pulmonary plague, a deadlier form of the disease. In order to test the above hypothesis we designed a mathematical model for plague dynamics, incorporating both the indirect (fleas-rats-humans) and direct (human-to-human) transmissions of the infection. Our results show remarkable agreement between data and the model, lending support to our hypotheses. The Eyam plague episode is celebrated as a remarkable act of collective self-sacrifice. However, to the best of our knowledge, there were no evidence before that the confinement actually increased the burden payed by the commoners. In the light of our results, it can be said that the hypothesis that confinement facilitated the spread of the infection by increasing the contact rate through direct transmission is plausible. PMID:15488668

  10. Primary case of human pneumonic plague occurring in a Himalayan marmot natural focus area Gansu Province, China.

    PubMed

    Ge, Pengfei; Xi, Jinxiao; Ding, Jun; Jin, Fachang; Zhang, Hong; Guo, Limin; Zhang, Jie; Li, Junlin; Gan, Zhiqiang; Wu, Bin; Liang, Junrong; Wang, Xin; Wang, Xinhua

    2015-04-01

    A case of primary pneumonic plague (PPP) caused by Yersinia pestis is reported. This case occurred in the largest plague area in China. The patient died after contact with a dog that had captured an infected marmot. Three of 151 contacts were shown to be positive for antibody against F1 antigen by indirect hemagglutination assay, but none had clinical symptoms. There was no secondary case.

  11. Age at vaccination may influence response to sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) in Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Tripp, Daniel W.; Lorenzsonn, Faye; Falendysz, Elizabeth A.; Smith, Susan; Williamson, Judy L.; Abbott, Rachel C.

    2015-01-01

    Gunnison’s prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) have been considered at greater risk from Yersinia pestis (plague) infection in the montane portion of their range compared to populations at lower elevations, possibly due to factors related to flea transmission of the bacteria or greater host susceptibility. To test the latter hypothesis and determine whether vaccination against plague with an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) improved survival, we captured prairie dogs from a C. g. gunnisoni or “montane” population and a C. g. zuniensis or “prairie” population for vaccine efficacy and challenge studies. No differences (P = 0.63) were found in plague susceptibility in non-vaccinated animals between these two populations; however, vaccinates from the prairie population survived plague challenge at significantly higher rates (P < 0.01) than those from the montane population. Upon further analysis, we determined that response to immunization was most likely associated with differences in age, as the prairie group was much younger on average than the montane group. Vaccinates that were juveniles or young adults survived plague challenge at a much higher rate than adults (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively), but no difference (P = 0.83) was detected in survival rates between control animals of different ages. These results suggest that host susceptibility is probably not related to the assumed greater risk from plague in the C. g. gunnisoni or “montane” populations of Gunnison’s prairie dogs, and that SPV could be a useful plague management tool for this species, particularly if targeted at younger cohorts.

  12. Primary case of human pneumonic plague occurring in a Himalayan marmot natural focus area Gansu Province, China.

    PubMed

    Ge, Pengfei; Xi, Jinxiao; Ding, Jun; Jin, Fachang; Zhang, Hong; Guo, Limin; Zhang, Jie; Li, Junlin; Gan, Zhiqiang; Wu, Bin; Liang, Junrong; Wang, Xin; Wang, Xinhua

    2015-04-01

    A case of primary pneumonic plague (PPP) caused by Yersinia pestis is reported. This case occurred in the largest plague area in China. The patient died after contact with a dog that had captured an infected marmot. Three of 151 contacts were shown to be positive for antibody against F1 antigen by indirect hemagglutination assay, but none had clinical symptoms. There was no secondary case. PMID:25555623

  13. Age at Vaccination May Influence Response to Sylvatic Plague Vaccine (SPV) in Gunnison's Prairie Dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni).

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Tripp, Dan; Lorenzsonn, Faye; Falendysz, Elizabeth; Smith, Susan; Williamson, Judy; Abbott, Rachel

    2015-06-01

    Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) have been considered at greater risk from Yersinia pestis (plague) infection in the montane portion of their range compared to populations at lower elevations, possibly due to factors related to flea transmission of the bacteria or greater host susceptibility. To test the latter hypothesis and determine whether vaccination against plague with an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) improved survival, we captured prairie dogs from a C. g. gunnisoni or "montane" population and a C. g. zuniensis or "prairie" population for vaccine efficacy and challenge studies. No differences (P = 0.63) were found in plague susceptibility in non-vaccinated animals between these two populations; however, vaccinates from the prairie population survived plague challenge at significantly higher rates (P < 0.01) than those from the montane population. Upon further analysis, we determined that response to immunization was most likely associated with differences in age, as the prairie group was much younger on average than the montane group. Vaccinates that were juveniles or young adults survived plague challenge at a much higher rate than adults (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively), but no difference (P = 0.83) was detected in survival rates between control animals of different ages. These results suggest that host susceptibility is probably not related to the assumed greater risk from plague in the C. g. gunnisoni or "montane" populations of Gunnison's prairie dogs, and that SPV could be a useful plague management tool for this species, particularly if targeted at younger cohorts. PMID:25589000

  14. Age at Vaccination May Influence Response to Sylvatic Plague Vaccine (SPV) in Gunnison's Prairie Dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni).

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Tripp, Dan; Lorenzsonn, Faye; Falendysz, Elizabeth; Smith, Susan; Williamson, Judy; Abbott, Rachel

    2015-06-01

    Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) have been considered at greater risk from Yersinia pestis (plague) infection in the montane portion of their range compared to populations at lower elevations, possibly due to factors related to flea transmission of the bacteria or greater host susceptibility. To test the latter hypothesis and determine whether vaccination against plague with an oral sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) improved survival, we captured prairie dogs from a C. g. gunnisoni or "montane" population and a C. g. zuniensis or "prairie" population for vaccine efficacy and challenge studies. No differences (P = 0.63) were found in plague susceptibility in non-vaccinated animals between these two populations; however, vaccinates from the prairie population survived plague challenge at significantly higher rates (P < 0.01) than those from the montane population. Upon further analysis, we determined that response to immunization was most likely associated with differences in age, as the prairie group was much younger on average than the montane group. Vaccinates that were juveniles or young adults survived plague challenge at a much higher rate than adults (P < 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively), but no difference (P = 0.83) was detected in survival rates between control animals of different ages. These results suggest that host susceptibility is probably not related to the assumed greater risk from plague in the C. g. gunnisoni or "montane" populations of Gunnison's prairie dogs, and that SPV could be a useful plague management tool for this species, particularly if targeted at younger cohorts.

  15. Draft Genome Sequences of Yersinia pestis Strains from the 1994 Plague Epidemic of Surat and 2002 Shimla Outbreak in India.

    PubMed

    Mahale, Kiran N; Paranjape, Pradyumna S; Marathe, Nachiket P; Dhotre, Dhiraj P; Chowdhury, Somak; Shetty, Sudarshan A; Sharma, Avinash; Sharma, Kaushal; Tuteja, Urmil; Batra, Harsh V; Shouche, Yogesh S

    2014-12-01

    We report the first draft genome sequences of the strains of plague-causing bacteria, Yersinia pestis, from India. These include two strains from the Surat epidemic (1994), one strain from the Shimla outbreak (2002) and one strain from the plague surveillance activity in the Deccan plateau region (1998). Genome size for all four strains is ~4.49 million bp with 139-147 contigs. Average sequencing depth for all four genomes was 21x. PMID:25320451

  16. The crisis of the sixth century: climatic change, natural disasters and the plague

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirschfeld, Yizhar

    The Byzantine period (fourth-sixth centuries) is considered an era of peak prosperity in agriculture and trade in the eastern and southern Mediterranean. Paleoclimatic studies have pointed to a significant increase in rainfall from the early fourth century onward, the beginning of a more humid period that lasted some two hundred years. However, the economic prosperity of the Byzantine Empire and its achievements in the fields of urban development and trade were halted in the mid-sixth century. In the second half of the sixth century and through the seventh century we can discern a sharp decline in both urban and rural settlement. The plague known as the "Justinianic plague" broke out in the summer of 541 and spread rapidly via trade ships throughout the Empire. At the same time the period of humid climate that had begun in the fourth century came to an end. For the Byzantine farmer the combination of plague and drought was disastrous. This paper focuses on the circumstances and implications of the severe crisis that affected the Levant during the sixth century.

  17. Lipopolysaccharide of Yersinia pestis, the Cause of Plague: Structure, Genetics, Biological Properties

    PubMed Central

    Knirel, Y.A.; Anisimov, A.P.

    2012-01-01

    The present review summarizes data pertaining to the composition and structure of the carbohydrate moiety (core oligosaccharide) and lipid component (lipid A) of the various forms of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), one of the major pathogenicity factors ofYersinia pestis, the cause of plague. The review addresses the functions and the biological significance of genes for the biosynthesis of LPS, as well as the biological properties of LPS in strains from various intraspecies groups ofY. pestis and their mutants, including the contribution of LPS to the resistance of bacteria to factors of the innate immunity of both insect-vectors and mammal-hosts. Special attention is paid to temperature-dependent variations in the LPS structure, their genetic control and roles in the pathogenesis of plague. The evolutionary aspect is considered based on a comparison of the structure and genetics of the LPS ofY. pestis and other enteric bacteria, including otherYersinia species. The prospects of development of live plague vaccines created on the basis ofY. pestis strains with the genetically modified LPS are discussed. PMID:23150803

  18. Impact of the Pla Protease Substrate α2-Antiplasmin on the Progression of Primary Pneumonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Eddy, Justin L.; Schroeder, Jay A.; Zimbler, Daniel L.; Bellows, Lauren E.

    2015-01-01

    Many pathogens usurp the host hemostatic system during infection to promote pathogenesis. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, expresses the plasminogen activator protease Pla, which has been shown in vitro to target and cleave multiple proteins within the fibrinolytic pathway, including the plasmin inhibitor α2-antiplasmin (A2AP). It is not known, however, if Pla inactivates A2AP in vivo; the role of A2AP during respiratory Y. pestis infection is not known either. Here, we show that Y. pestis does not appreciably cleave A2AP in a Pla-dependent manner in the lungs during experimental pneumonic plague. Furthermore, following intranasal infection with Y. pestis, A2AP-deficient mice exhibit no difference in survival time, bacterial burden in the lungs, or dissemination from wild-type mice. Instead, we found that in the absence of Pla, A2AP contributes to the control of the pulmonary inflammatory response during infection by reducing neutrophil recruitment and cytokine production, resulting in altered immunopathology of the lungs compared to A2AP-deficient mice. Thus, our data demonstrate that A2AP is not significantly affected by the Pla protease during pneumonic plague, and although A2AP participates in immune modulation in the lungs, it has limited impact on the course or ultimate outcome of the infection. PMID:26438794

  19. A rapid field test for sylvatic plague exposure in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Abbott, Rachel C; Hudak, Robert; Mondesire, Roy; Baeten, Laurie A; Russell, Robin E; Rocke, Tonie E

    2014-04-01

    Plague surveillance is routinely conducted to predict future epizootics in wildlife and exposure risk for humans. The most common surveillance method for sylvatic plague is detection of antibodies to Yersinia pestis F1 capsular antigen in sentinel animals, such as coyotes (Canis latrans). Current serologic tests for Y. pestis, hemagglutination (HA) test and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), are expensive and labor intensive. To address this need, we developed a complete lateral flow device for the detection of specific antibodies to Y. pestis F1 and V antigens. Our test detected anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies in serum and Nobuto filter paper samples from coyotes, and in serum samples from prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), lynx (Lynx canadensis), and black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes). Comparison of cassette results for anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies with results of ELISA or HA tests showed correlations ranging from 0.68 to 0.98. This device provides an affordable, user-friendly tool that may be useful in plague surveillance programs and as a research tool. PMID:24484483

  20. Impact of the Pla protease substrate α2-antiplasmin on the progression of primary pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Eddy, Justin L; Schroeder, Jay A; Zimbler, Daniel L; Bellows, Lauren E; Lathem, Wyndham W

    2015-12-01

    Many pathogens usurp the host hemostatic system during infection to promote pathogenesis. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, expresses the plasminogen activator protease Pla, which has been shown in vitro to target and cleave multiple proteins within the fibrinolytic pathway, including the plasmin inhibitor α2-antiplasmin (A2AP). It is not known, however, if Pla inactivates A2AP in vivo; the role of A2AP during respiratory Y. pestis infection is not known either. Here, we show that Y. pestis does not appreciably cleave A2AP in a Pla-dependent manner in the lungs during experimental pneumonic plague. Furthermore, following intranasal infection with Y. pestis, A2AP-deficient mice exhibit no difference in survival time, bacterial burden in the lungs, or dissemination from wild-type mice. Instead, we found that in the absence of Pla, A2AP contributes to the control of the pulmonary inflammatory response during infection by reducing neutrophil recruitment and cytokine production, resulting in altered immunopathology of the lungs compared to A2AP-deficient mice. Thus, our data demonstrate that A2AP is not significantly affected by the Pla protease during pneumonic plague, and although A2AP participates in immune modulation in the lungs, it has limited impact on the course or ultimate outcome of the infection.

  1. Immunization of black-tailed prairie dog against plague through consumption of vaccine-laden baits

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Smith, S.R.; Stinchcomb, D.T.; Osorio, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis and, along with other wild rodents, are significant reservoirs of plague for other wildlife and humans in the western United States. A recombinant raccoon poxvirus, expressing the F1 antigen of Y. pestis, was incorporated into a palatable bait and offered to three groups (n = 18, 19, and 20) of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) for voluntary consumption, either one, two, or three times, at roughly 3-wk intervals. A control group (n = 19) received baits containing raccoon poxvirus without the inserted antigen. Mean antibody titers to Y. pestis F1 antigen increased significantly in all groups ingesting the vaccine-laden baits, whereas the control group remained negative. Upon challenge with virulent Y. pestis, immunized groups had higher survival rates (38%) than the unimmunized control group (11%). The mean survival time of groups ingesting vaccine-laden baits either two or three times was significantly higher than that of animals ingesting vaccine-laden baits just one time and of animals in the control group. These results show that oral immunization of prairie dogs against plague provides some protection against challenge at dosages that simulate simultaneous delivery of the plague bacterium by numerous (3-10) flea bites. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  2. A rapid field test for sylvatic plague exposure in wild animals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbott, Rachel C.; Hudak, Robert; Mondesire, Roy; Baeten, Laurie A.; Russell, Robin E.; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2014-01-01

    Plague surveillance is routinely conducted to predict future epizootics in wildlife and exposure risk for humans. The most common surveillance method for sylvatic plague is detection of antibodies to Yersinia pestis F1 capsular antigen in sentinel animals, such as coyotes (Canis latrans). Current serologic tests for Y. pestis, hemagglutination (HA) test and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), are expensive and labor intensive. To address this need, we developed a complete lateral flow device for the detection of specific antibodies to Y. pestis F1 and V antigens. Our test detected anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies in serum and Nobuto filter paper samples from coyotes, and in serum samples from prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), lynx (Lynx canadensis), and black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes). Comparison of cassette results for anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies with results of ELISA or HA tests showed correlations ranging from 0.68 to 0.98. This device provides an affordable, user-friendly tool that may be useful in plague surveillance programs and as a research tool.

  3. A rapid field test for sylvatic plague exposure in wild animals.

    PubMed

    Abbott, Rachel C; Hudak, Robert; Mondesire, Roy; Baeten, Laurie A; Russell, Robin E; Rocke, Tonie E

    2014-04-01

    Plague surveillance is routinely conducted to predict future epizootics in wildlife and exposure risk for humans. The most common surveillance method for sylvatic plague is detection of antibodies to Yersinia pestis F1 capsular antigen in sentinel animals, such as coyotes (Canis latrans). Current serologic tests for Y. pestis, hemagglutination (HA) test and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), are expensive and labor intensive. To address this need, we developed a complete lateral flow device for the detection of specific antibodies to Y. pestis F1 and V antigens. Our test detected anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies in serum and Nobuto filter paper samples from coyotes, and in serum samples from prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), lynx (Lynx canadensis), and black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes). Comparison of cassette results for anti-F1 and anti-V antibodies with results of ELISA or HA tests showed correlations ranging from 0.68 to 0.98. This device provides an affordable, user-friendly tool that may be useful in plague surveillance programs and as a research tool.

  4. Plague and contagionism in eighteenth-century England: the role of Richard Mead.

    PubMed

    Zuckerman, Arnold

    2004-01-01

    An epidemic of plague in Marseilles in 1720 and the fear that it would spread to England led to the passing of a new quarantine act. First, however, the government sought medical advice from Dr. Richard Mead (1673-1754), which took the form of A Short Discourse Concerning Pestilential Contagion, and the Methods to Be Used to Prevent It. This tract was a contribution to the contagion concept of disease at a time when it had not yet become part of the medical mainstream as an explanation for certain epidemic diseases. Critical works appeared almost immediately attacking Mead's ideas. The Short Discourse went through nine editions, the last in 1744. In the last two editions there are further elaborations of his earlier views and references to Newton's Optics and the ether theory. Some of Mead's practical recommendations for dealing with the plague, should it enter the country, were relatively new. References to his plague tract appeared in a number of medical and nonmedical works well beyond his lifetime. PMID:15211050

  5. [A quarantine of plague at the lazaret of Frioul in 1901].

    PubMed

    Chevallier, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    In September 1901, a cruise for work and pleasure is organized in Mediterranean including VIP all firstclass (politicals, scientists, clergymen...) These were 174 passengers on the ship Senegal. After a departure from Marseille, the ship must quickly turn and go back on account of a sailor in the crew might be sicked with plague. A quarantine was organised in the lazaret of Frioul's island. This man died but an another actually ill will be cured. All the conference participents landed in the Frioul lazaret stayed only seven days on place and remained uninjured. This misadventure will be studied by scientific people and given to authorities. So, Pr Jules Buckoy' communication to the french Academy of medicine. Adrien Proust gave a report. In this doctoral thesis in 1902 Joseph Pellissier reported all the cases of plague cured in the Frioul lazaret. The physician Charles Leroux made an epidemiologic study about effects and troubles with plague serums. A lot of orig- inal and beautiful photographs, notably those by the famous passenger, Léon Gaumont, are joined in our presentation. PMID:26492673

  6. [A quarantine of plague at the lazaret of Frioul in 1901].

    PubMed

    Chevallier, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    In September 1901, a cruise for work and pleasure is organized in Mediterranean including VIP all firstclass (politicals, scientists, clergymen...) These were 174 passengers on the ship Senegal. After a departure from Marseille, the ship must quickly turn and go back on account of a sailor in the crew might be sicked with plague. A quarantine was organised in the lazaret of Frioul's island. This man died but an another actually ill will be cured. All the conference participents landed in the Frioul lazaret stayed only seven days on place and remained uninjured. This misadventure will be studied by scientific people and given to authorities. So, Pr Jules Buckoy' communication to the french Academy of medicine. Adrien Proust gave a report. In this doctoral thesis in 1902 Joseph Pellissier reported all the cases of plague cured in the Frioul lazaret. The physician Charles Leroux made an epidemiologic study about effects and troubles with plague serums. A lot of orig- inal and beautiful photographs, notably those by the famous passenger, Léon Gaumont, are joined in our presentation.

  7. Multiple mechanisms of transmission of the Caribbean coral disease white plague

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clemens, E.; Brandt, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    White plague is one of the most devastating coral diseases in the Caribbean, and yet important aspects of its epidemiology, including how the disease transmits, remain unknown. This study tested potential mechanisms and rates of transmission of white plague in a laboratory setting. Transmission mechanisms including the transport of water, contact with macroalgae, and predation via corallivorous worms and snails were tested on the host species Orbicella annularis. Two of the tested mechanisms were shown to transmit disease: water transport and the corallivorous snail Coralliophila abbreviata. Between these transmission mechanisms, transport of water between a diseased coral and a healthy coral resulted in disease incidence significantly more frequently in exposed healthy corals. Transmission via water transport also occurred more quickly and was associated with higher rates of tissue loss (up to 3.5 cm d-1) than with the corallivorous snail treatment. In addition, water that was in contact with diseased corals but was filtered with a 0.22-μm filter prior to being introduced to apparently healthy corals also resulted in the transmission of disease signs, but at a much lower rate than when water was not filtered. This study has provided important information on the transmission potential of Caribbean white plague disease and highlights the need for a greater understanding of how these processes operate in the natural environment.

  8. Investigation of vesicle-capsular plague antigen complex formation by elastic laser radiation scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guseva, N. P.; Maximova, Irina S.; Romanov, Sergey V.; Shubochkin, L. P.; Tatarintsev, Sergey N.

    1991-05-01

    Recently a great deal of attention has been given to the investigation artificial lipid liposomes, due to their application as "containers" for directed transport of biologically active compounds into particular cells, organs and tissues for prophylaxis and therapy of infectious diseases. The use of traditional methods of liposome investigation, such as sedimentation, electrophoresis and chromatography is impeded by low liposome resistivity to different deformations. In conjunction with this, optical methods of laser light scattering are promising as they allow nondisturbing, precise and quick investigations. This paper describes the investigation of vesicle systems prepared from egg lecithin of Serva Corporation and their complexes with the capsular antigen of the plague microbe. The capsular antigen Fl was obtained from EV plague microbe grown at 37° C on Huttinger agar. Fl was isolated by gel-filtration on ASA-22 followed by freeze drying of the preparation. Angular dependences of polarized radiation scattering were measured for several liposome suspension samples in a saline solution before and after the interaction with the plague microbe capsular antigen. The aim of the investigation was to analyze the nature of mutual antigen arrangement in a liposome and to develop methods for measuring its inclusion percentage.

  9. Integrating land cover and terrain characteristics to explain plague risks in Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania: a geospatial approach.

    PubMed

    Hieronimo, Proches; Meliyo, Joel; Gulinck, Hubert; Kimaro, Didas N; Mulungu, Loth S; Kihupi, Nganga I; Msanya, Balthazar M; Leirs, Herwig; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Literature suggests that higher resolution remote sensing data integrated in Geographic Information System (GIS) can provide greater possibility to refine the analysis of land cover and terrain characteristics for explanation of abundance and distribution of plague hosts and vectors and hence of health risk hazards to humans. These technologies are not widely used in East Africa for studies on diseases including plague. The objective of this study was to refine the analysis of single and combined land cover and terrain characteristics in order to gain an insight into localized plague infection risks in the West Usambara Mountains in north-eastern Tanzania. The study used a geospatial approach to assess the influence of land cover and terrain factors on the abundance and spatial distribution of plague hosts (small mammals) and plague vectors (fleas). It considered different levels of scale and resolution. Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) statistical method was used to clarify the relationships between land cover and terrain variables with small mammals and fleas. Results indicate that elevation positively influenced the presence of small mammals. The presence of fleas was clearly influenced by land management features such as miraba. Medium to high resolution remotely sensed data integrated in a GIS have been found to be quite useful in this type of analysis. These findings contribute to efforts on plague surveillance and awareness creation among communities on the probable risks associated with various landscape factors during epidemics. PMID:26867280

  10. Integrating land cover and terrain characteristics to explain plague risks in Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania: a geospatial approach.

    PubMed

    Hieronimo, Proches; Meliyo, Joel; Gulinck, Hubert; Kimaro, Didas N; Mulungu, Loth S; Kihupi, Nganga I; Msanya, Balthazar M; Leirs, Herwig; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Literature suggests that higher resolution remote sensing data integrated in Geographic Information System (GIS) can provide greater possibility to refine the analysis of land cover and terrain characteristics for explanation of abundance and distribution of plague hosts and vectors and hence of health risk hazards to humans. These technologies are not widely used in East Africa for studies on diseases including plague. The objective of this study was to refine the analysis of single and combined land cover and terrain characteristics in order to gain an insight into localized plague infection risks in the West Usambara Mountains in north-eastern Tanzania. The study used a geospatial approach to assess the influence of land cover and terrain factors on the abundance and spatial distribution of plague hosts (small mammals) and plague vectors (fleas). It considered different levels of scale and resolution. Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) statistical method was used to clarify the relationships between land cover and terrain variables with small mammals and fleas. Results indicate that elevation positively influenced the presence of small mammals. The presence of fleas was clearly influenced by land management features such as miraba. Medium to high resolution remotely sensed data integrated in a GIS have been found to be quite useful in this type of analysis. These findings contribute to efforts on plague surveillance and awareness creation among communities on the probable risks associated with various landscape factors during epidemics.

  11. Persistence of black-tailed prairie-dog populations affected by plague in northern Colorado, USA.

    PubMed

    George, Dylan B; Webb, Colleen T; Pepin, Kim M; Savage, Lisa T; Antolini, Michael F

    2013-07-01

    The spatial distribution of prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in North America has changed from large, contiguous populations to small, isolated colonies in metapopulations. One factor responsible for this drastic change in prairie-dog population structure is plague (caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis). We fit stochastic patch occupancy models to 20 years of prairie-dog colony occupancy data from two discrete metapopulations (west and east) in the Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado, USA, that differ in connectivity among suitable habitat patches. We conducted model selection between two hypothesized modes of plague movement: independent of prairie-dog dispersal (colony-area) vs. plague movement consistent with prairie-dog dispersal (connectivity to extinct colonies). The best model, which fit the data well (area under the curve [AUC]: 0.94 west area; 0.79 east area), revealed that over time the proportion of extant colonies was better explained by colony size than by connectivity to extinct (plagued) colonies. The idea that prairie dogs are not likely to be the main vector that spreads Y. pestis across the landscape is supported by the observation that colony extinctions are primarily caused by plague, prairie-dog dispersal is short range, and connectivity to extinct colonies was not selected as a factor in the models. We also conducted simulations with the best model to examine long-term patterns of colony occupancy and persistence of prairie-dog metapopulations. In the case where the metapopulations persist, our model predicted that the western metapopulation would have a colony occupancy rate approximately 2.5 times higher than that of the eastern metapopulation (-50% occupied colonies vs. 20%) in 50 years, but that the western metapopulation has -80% chance of extinction in 100 years while the eastern metapopulation has a less than 25% chance. Extinction probability of individual colonies depended on the frequency with which colonies of the

  12. Genome-scale reconstruction of the metabolic network in Yersinia pestis, strain 91001

    SciTech Connect

    Navid, A; Almaas, E

    2009-01-13

    The gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis, the aetiological agent of bubonic plague, is one the deadliest pathogens known to man. Despite its historical reputation, plague is a modern disease which annually afflicts thousands of people. Public safety considerations greatly limit clinical experimentation on this organism and thus development of theoretical tools to analyze the capabilities of this pathogen is of utmost importance. Here, we report the first genome-scale metabolic model of Yersinia pestis biovar Mediaevalis based both on its recently annotated genome, and physiological and biochemical data from literature. Our model demonstrates excellent agreement with Y. pestis known metabolic needs and capabilities. Since Y. pestis is a meiotrophic organism, we have developed CryptFind, a systematic approach to identify all candidate cryptic genes responsible for known and theoretical meiotrophic phenomena. In addition to uncovering every known cryptic gene for Y. pestis, our analysis of the rhamnose fermentation pathway suggests that betB is the responsible cryptic gene. Despite all of our medical advances, we still do not have a vaccine for bubonic plague. Recent discoveries of antibiotic resistant strains of Yersinia pestis coupled with the threat of plague being used as a bioterrorism weapon compel us to develop new tools for studying the physiology of this deadly pathogen. Using our theoretical model, we can study the cell's phenotypic behavior under different circumstances and identify metabolic weaknesses which may be harnessed for the development of therapeutics. Additionally, the automatic identification of cryptic genes expands the usage of genomic data for pharmaceutical purposes.

  13. Vector control improves survival of three species of prairie dogs (Cynomys) in areas considered enzootic for plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biggins, Dean E.; Godbey, Jerry L.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Carter, Leon G.; Montenieri, John A.

    2010-01-01

    Plague causes periodic epizootics that decimate populations of prairie dogs (PDs) (Cynomys), but the means by which the causative bacterium (Yersinia pestis) persists between epizootics are poorly understood. Plague epizootics in PDs might arise as the result of introductions of Y. pestis from sources outside PD colonies. However, it remains possible that plague persists in PDs during interepizootic periods and is transmitted at low rates among highly susceptible individuals within and between their colonies. If this is true, application of vector control to reduce flea numbers might reduce mortality among PDs. To test whether vector control enhances PD survival in the absence of obvious plague epizootics, we reduced the numbers of fleas (vectors for Y. pestis) 96–98% (1 month posttreatment) on 15 areas involving three species of PDs (Cynomys leucurus, Cynomys parvidens in Utah, and Cynomys ludovicianus in Montana) during 2000–2004 using deltamethrin dust delivered into burrows as a pulicide. Even during years without epizootic plague, PD survival rates at dusted sites were 31–45% higher for adults and 2–34% higher for juveniles compared to survival rates at nondusted sites. Y. pestis was cultured from 49 of the 851 flea pools tested (6882 total fleas) and antibodies against Y. pestis were identified in serum samples from 40 of 2631 PDs. Although other explanations are possible, including transmission of other potentially fatal pathogens by fleas, ticks, or other ectoparasites, our results suggest that plague might be maintained indefinitely in PD populations in the absence of free epizootics and widespread mortality among these animals. If PDs and their fleas support enzootic cycles of plague transmission, there would be important implications for the conservation of these animals and other species.

  14. Fast and Simple Detection of Yersinia pestis Applicable to Field Investigation of Plague Foci

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Stéphanie; Demeure, Christian; Lamourette, Patricia; Filali, Sofia; Plaisance, Marc; Créminon, Christophe; Volland, Hervé; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the plague bacillus, has a rodent-flea-rodent life cycle but can also persist in the environment for various periods of time. There is now a convenient and effective test (F1-dipstick) for the rapid identification of Y. pestis from human patient or rodent samples, but this test cannot be applied to environmental or flea materials because the F1 capsule is mostly produced at 37°C. The plasminogen activator (PLA), a key virulence factor encoded by a Y. pestis-specific plasmid, is synthesized both at 20°C and 37°C, making it a good candidate antigen for environmental detection of Y. pestis by immunological methods. A recombinant PLA protein from Y. pestis synthesized by an Escherichia coli strain was used to produce monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). PLA-specific mAbs devoid of cross-reactions with other homologous proteins were further cloned. A pair of mAbs was selected based on its specificity, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, and ability to react with Y. pestis strains grown at different temperatures. These antibodies were used to develop a highly sensitive one-step PLA-enzyme immunoassay (PLA-EIA) and an immunostrip (PLA-dipstick), usable as a rapid test under field conditions. These two PLA-immunometric tests could be valuable, in addition to the F1-disptick, to confirm human plague diagnosis in non-endemic areas (WHO standard case definition). They have the supplementary advantage of allowing a rapid and easy detection of Y. pestis in environmental and flea samples, and would therefore be of great value for surveillance and epidemiological investigations of plague foci. Finally, they will be able to detect natural or genetically engineered F1-negative Y. pestis strains in human patients and environmental samples. PMID:23383008

  15. Potent infection reservoir of crayfish plague now permanently established in Norway.

    PubMed

    Vrålstad, Trude; Johnsen, Stein I; Fristad, Rosa Ferreira; Edsman, Lennart; Strand, David

    2011-11-01

    Noble crayfish Astacus astacus is threatened in Europe due to invasive crayfish carrying the crayfish plague agent Aphanomyces astaci. Norway is among the last countries in which the introduction of non-indigenous crayfish has been limited through strict legislation practices. However, North American signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus were recently discovered in a water-course that has been repeatedly hit by the plague. We mapped the distribution and relative density (catch per unit effort) of signal crayfish within this lake, and performed agent-specific real-time PCR to estimate the prevalence of A. astaci in the population. The resulting length frequencies and relative density estimates clearly demonstrate a well-established signal crayfish population, in which 86.4% of the analysed individuals were confirmed carriers. The success of detection was significantly higher (84.1%) in the crayfish tailfan (i.e. uropods) than in the soft abdominal cuticle (38.4%), which is commonly used in prevalence studies. We therefore propose tailfan (uropods and telson) as the preferred tissue for studying A. astaci prevalence in signal crayfish populations. The likelihood of detecting an A. astaci-positive signal crayfish increased significantly with increasing crayfish length. Further, large female crayfish expressed significantly higher PCR-forming units values than large males. In surveys primarily exploring the presence of A. astaci-positive individuals in a population, large females should be selected for molecular analyses. Our study demonstrates that a potent crayfish plague infection reservoir, evidently originating from the illegal human introduction of signal crayfish, has permanently been established in Norway.

  16. Tularemia and plague survey in rodents in an earthquake zone in southeastern Iran

    PubMed Central

    Gyuranecz, Miklós

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: Earthquakes are one the most common natural disasters that lead to increased mortality and morbidity from transmissible diseases, partially because the rodents displaced by an earthquake can lead to an increased rate of disease transmission. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of plague and tularemia in rodents in the earthquake zones in southeastern Iran. METHODS: In April 2013, a research team was dispatched to explore the possible presence of diseases in rodents displaced by a recent earthquake magnitude 7.7 around the cities of Khash and Saravan in Sistan and Baluchestan Province. Rodents were trapped near and in the earthquake zone, in a location where an outbreak of tularemia was reported in 2007. Rodent serums were tested for a serological survey using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: In the 13 areas that were studied, nine rodents were caught over a total of 200 trap-days. Forty-eight fleas and 10 ticks were obtained from the rodents. The ticks were from the Hyalomma genus and the fleas were from the Xenopsylla genus. All the trapped rodents were Tatera indica. Serological results were negative for plague, but the serum agglutination test was positive for tularemia in one of the rodents. Tatera indica has never been previously documented to be involved in the transmission of tularemia. CONCLUSIONS: No evidence of the plague cycle was found in the rodents of the area, but evidence was found of tularemia infection in rodents, as demonstrated by a positive serological test for tularemia in one rodent. PMID:26602769

  17. Duck plague in free-flying waterfowl observed during the Lake Andes epizootic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Proctor, S.J.; Pearson, G.L.; Leibovitz, L.

    1975-01-01

    The first major epizootic of duck plague in free-flying waterfowl occurred at Lake Andes, South Dakota, in January and February, 1973. Duck plague was diagnosed in black ducks, mallards, pintail-mallard hybrids, redheads, common mergansers, common golden eyes, canvasbacks, American widgeon, wood ducks, and Canada geese, indicating the general susceptibility of ducks to duck plague. Clinical signs observed in mallards were droopiness, polydipsia, lethargy, reduced wariness, weakness, reluctance to fly, swimming in circles, bloody diarrhea, bloody fluid draining from the nares and bill, and terminal convulsions.Because the mallard was the most numerous and heavily infected species during the Lake Andes epizootic, gross and microscopic lesions of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, spleen, thymus, bursa of Fabricius, heart, lung, bone marrow, pancreas, and ovaries were described. Lesions of the esophagus and cloaca were in the stratified submucosal glands. In the small and large intestine, lesions were located in lymphocytic aggregates, lamina propria, and crypt epithelium. Hemorrhages and necrosis of hepatocytes and bile duct epithelium were noted in the liver. Diffuse necrosis of lymphocytic and reticuloendothelial tissue were evident in the spleen, bursa of Fabricius, and thymus. Hemorrhages in other tissues such as the lung and heart were often associated with lymphoid nodules, while those in organs such as the pancreas were associated with acinar necrosis. Intranuclear inclusion bodies were seen in stratified squamous epithelium of the esophagus and cloaca, crypt epithelium of the intestine, hepatocytes, bile duct epithelium, cells of Hassel's corpuscles, splenic periarteriolar reticular cells, and epithelial cells in the bursa of Fabricius.

  18. [Plague in Algeria: about five strains of Yersinia pestis isolated during the outbreak of June 2003].

    PubMed

    Lounici, M; Lazri, M; Rahal, K

    2005-02-01

    In this study, we isolated and identified five strains of Yersinia pestis during an epidemic occurred in west of Algeria in June 2003. The bacteriological identification was confirmed by bacteriophage susceptibility. All these strains belonged to the biovar Orientalis (they did not ferment glycerol but did reduce nitrate to nitrite) which caused the current pandemic. The in vitro activities of antimicrobial agents used to treat plague and recommended for prophylaxis, showed that they are active against all strains. The comparison of these strains by plasmid profile analyse demonstrated that all isolates had three plasmids: 110, 70 and 9.5 kb, which are present in Y. pestis strains.

  19. Congruences in Chinese and Western medicine from 1830-1911: smallpox, plague and cholera.

    PubMed Central

    Summers, W. C.

    1994-01-01

    A close examination of three examples, smallpox, plague and cholera, suggest that for acute infectious diseases the Chinese viewed the symptomatologies, the causes, and the rational treatments of these illnesses in many ways similar to that of their contemporary Western counterparts. Rather than holding an opposing, clashing or incongruent system of medical thoughts for these common, well-recognized infectious diseases, the Chinese were prepared, by a long tradition of ontological thinking, to be receptive to the adoption, incorporation or modification of Western medical ideas in the late nineteenth century. PMID:7544052

  20. Pneumonic Plague

    MedlinePlus

    ... direct, close contact with infected patients. Wearing a close-fitting surgical mask also protects against ... October 14, 2001 Content source: Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID) , National ...

  1. 275 years since the epidemic of plague in Cluj: Dr. Alexandru Lenghel’s contribution to its investigation

    PubMed Central

    ROGOZEA, LILIANA; LEAȘU, FLORIN; DUMITRASCU, DINU IULIU; DUMITRASCU, DAN L.

    2015-01-01

    Plague is one of the most impressive diseases in the cultural history of mankind. Its lethality has influenced the evolution of society and it is frequently represented in fine arts and literature. The principality of Transylvania was also affected by this infection, the plague having strongly impacted both economic and social development. Between 1738 and 1739 an important plague epidemic spread in Transylvania. The authors introduce and discuss a less known work on this epidemic, with focus on its impact on the city of Cluj - a book written in 1930 by Dr. Alexandru Lenghel, who later became a target of political persecution during the Stalinist period, while his work entered a cone of shadow. PMID:26733757

  2. Use of Insecticide Delivery Tubes for Controlling Rodent-Associated Fleas in a Plague Endemic Region of West Nile, Uganda.

    PubMed

    Boegler, Karen A; Atiku, Linda A; Mpanga, Joseph Tendo; Clark, Rebecca J; Delorey, Mark J; Gage, Kenneth L; Eisen, Rebecca J

    2014-11-01

    Plague is a primarily flea-borne rodent-associated zoonosis that is often fatal in humans. Our study focused on the plague-endemic West Nile region of Uganda where affordable means for the prevention of human plague are currently lacking. Traditional hut construction and food storage practices hinder rodent exclusion efforts, and emphasize the need for an inexpensive but effective host-targeted approach for controlling fleas within the domestic environment. Here we demonstrate the ability of an insecticide delivery tube that is made from inexpensive locally available materials to reduce fleas on domestic rodents. Unbaited tubes were treated with either an insecticide alone (fipronil) or in conjunction with an insect growth regulator [(S)-methoprene], and placed along natural rodent runways within participant huts. Performance was similar for both treatments throughout the course of the study, and showed significant reductions in the proportion of infested rodents relative to controls for at least 100 d posttreatment.

  3. Effects of Land Use on Plague (Yersinia pestis) Activity in Rodents in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    McCauley, Douglas J.; Salkeld, Daniel J.; Young, Hillary S.; Makundi, Rhodes; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Lambin, Eric F.; Gaffikin, Lynne; Barry, Michele; Helgen, Kristofer M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the effects of land-use change on zoonotic disease risk is a pressing global health concern. Here, we compare prevalence of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, in rodents across two land-use types—agricultural and conserved—in northern Tanzania. Estimated abundance of seropositive rodents nearly doubled in agricultural sites compared with conserved sites. This relationship between land-use type and abundance of seropositive rodents is likely mediated by changes in rodent and flea community composition, particularly via an increase in the abundance of the commensal species, Mastomys natalensis, in agricultural habitats. There was mixed support for rodent species diversity negatively impacting Y. pestis seroprevalence. Together, these results suggest that land-use change could affect the risk of local transmission of plague, and raise critical questions about transmission dynamics at the interface of conserved and agricultural habitats. These findings emphasize the importance of understanding disease ecology in the context of rapidly proceeding landscape change. PMID:25711606

  4. [ON THE ORIGIN OF HYPERVIRULENCE OF THE CAUSATIVE AGENT OF PLAGUE].

    PubMed

    Anisimov, N V; Kislichkina, A A; Platonov, M E; Evseeva, V V; Kadnikova, L A; Lipatnikova, N A; Bogun, A G; Dentovskaya, S V; Anisimov, A P

    2016-01-01

    The attempt to combine Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis into one species has been unsupported by microbiologists due to the specific features of the epidemiology and clinical presentations of their induced diseases and to basic differences in their virulence. Pseudotuberculosis is predominantly a relatively mild human intestinal infection transmitted through contaminated food and plague is an acute generalized disease with high mortality, which is most frequently transmitted by the bites of infected fleas. Y. pestis hypervirulence, the ability of single bacteria to ensure the development of predagonal bacteriemia in rodents, which is sufficient to contaminate the fleas, is one of the main events during pathogen adaptation to a new ecological niche. By analyzing the data of molecular typing of the representative kits of naturally occurring Y. pestis isolates, the authois consider the issues of formation of intraspecies groups with universal hypervirulence, as well as biovars that are highly virulent only to their major host. A strategy for searching for selective virulence factors, the potential molecular targets for vaccination and etiotropic treatment of plague, is discussed. PMID:27029142

  5. Application of DDT, BHC, and Cyanogas in the control of plague in India

    PubMed Central

    Wagle, P. M.; Seal, S. C.

    1953-01-01

    A comparison is made of the results obtained in various parts of India since 1945 with DDT, BHC, and Cyanogas in the control of plague. Antiplague campaigns involving the use of Cyanogas (calcium cyanide) have shown this pulicide to be effective in many cases in keeping down the flea index and in restricting the spread of the disease, although Cyanogas fumigation alone will not stop the annual recrudescence of epidemics. Comparative trials in Madras State showed that insufflation of rat-holes and harbourages with 10% DDT dusting-powder was effective in keeping the flea index below 1 in several villages, while repeated Cyanogas fumigation in the town of Coonoor did not greatly reduce the index there. In another series of experiments, the toxic action of both DDT and BHC (Gammexane) was still evident 84-90 days after dusting, but the DDT was the more powerful pulicide. Cyanogas dusting had no effect in reducing the flea index in these experiments. In their conclusions, the authors consider that DDT, despite a number of instances of its failure, is the most valuable pulicide, followed by BHC and Cyanogas, in that order. A successful antiplague operation, however, depends on the methods used, the dosage of pulicide, and the time and intensity of its application. In addition, to eradicate plague in endemic areas, it is, of course, necessary to continue control efforts during the interepidemic periods. PMID:13115981

  6. Phylogenetic Analysis of Entomoparasitic Nematodes, Potential Control Agents of Flea Populations in Natural Foci of Plague

    PubMed Central

    Koshel, E. I.; Aleshin, V. V.; Eroshenko, G. A.; Kutyrev, V. V.

    2014-01-01

    Entomoparasitic nematodes are natural control agents for many insect pests, including fleas that transmit Yersinia pestis, a causative agent of plague, in the natural foci of this extremely dangerous zoonosis. We examined the flea samples from the Volga-Ural natural focus of plague for their infestation with nematodes. Among the six flea species feeding on different rodent hosts (Citellus pygmaeus, Microtus socialis, and Allactaga major), the rate of infestation varied from 0 to 21%. The propagation rate of parasitic nematodes in the haemocoel of infected fleas was very high; in some cases, we observed up to 1,000 juveniles per flea specimen. Our study of morphology, life cycle, and rDNA sequences of these parasites revealed that they belong to three distinct species differing in the host specificity. On SSU and LSU rRNA phylogenies, these species representing three genera (Rubzovinema, Psyllotylenchus, and Spilotylenchus), constitute a monophyletic group close to Allantonema and Parasitylenchus, the type genera of the families Allantonematidae and Parasitylenchidae (Nematoda: Tylenchida). We discuss the SSU-ITS1-5.8S-LSU rDNA phylogeny of the Tylenchida with a special emphasis on the suborder Hexatylina. PMID:24804197

  7. Survey of the crayfish plague pathogen presence in the Netherlands reveals a new Aphanomyces astaci carrier.

    PubMed

    Tilmans, M; Mrugała, A; Svoboda, J; Engelsma, M Y; Petie, M; Soes, D M; Nutbeam-Tuffs, S; Oidtmann, B; Roessink, I; Petrusek, A

    2014-07-01

    North American crayfish species as hosts for the crayfish plague pathogen Aphanomyces astaci contribute to the decline of native European crayfish populations. At least six American crayfish species have been reported in the Netherlands but the presence of this pathogenic oomycete with substantial conservational impact has not yet been confirmed in the country. We evaluated A. astaci prevalence in Dutch populations of six alien crustaceans using species-specific quantitative PCR. These included three confirmed crayfish carriers (Orconectes limosus, Pacifastacus leniusculus, Procambarus clarkii), two recently introduced but yet unstudied crayfish (Orconectes cf. virilis, Procambarus cf. acutus), and a catadromous crab Eriocheir sinensis. Moderate levels of infection were observed in some populations of O. limosus and P. leniusculus. Positive results were also obtained for E. sinensis and two Dutch populations of O. cf. virilis. English population of the latter species was also found infected, confirming this taxon as another A. astaci carrier in European waters. In contrast, Dutch P. clarkii seem only sporadically infected, and the pathogen was not yet detected in P. cf. acutus. Our study is the first confirmation of crayfish plague infections in the Netherlands and demonstrates substantial variation in A. astaci prevalence among potential hosts within a single region, a pattern possibly linked to their introduction history and coexistence.

  8. [ON THE ORIGIN OF HYPERVIRULENCE OF THE CAUSATIVE AGENT OF PLAGUE].

    PubMed

    Anisimov, N V; Kislichkina, A A; Platonov, M E; Evseeva, V V; Kadnikova, L A; Lipatnikova, N A; Bogun, A G; Dentovskaya, S V; Anisimov, A P

    2016-01-01

    The attempt to combine Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia pestis into one species has been unsupported by microbiologists due to the specific features of the epidemiology and clinical presentations of their induced diseases and to basic differences in their virulence. Pseudotuberculosis is predominantly a relatively mild human intestinal infection transmitted through contaminated food and plague is an acute generalized disease with high mortality, which is most frequently transmitted by the bites of infected fleas. Y. pestis hypervirulence, the ability of single bacteria to ensure the development of predagonal bacteriemia in rodents, which is sufficient to contaminate the fleas, is one of the main events during pathogen adaptation to a new ecological niche. By analyzing the data of molecular typing of the representative kits of naturally occurring Y. pestis isolates, the authois consider the issues of formation of intraspecies groups with universal hypervirulence, as well as biovars that are highly virulent only to their major host. A strategy for searching for selective virulence factors, the potential molecular targets for vaccination and etiotropic treatment of plague, is discussed.

  9. [Analysis of diversity and identification of the genovariants of plague agent strains from Mongolian foci].

    PubMed

    Kukleva, L M; Shavina, N Yu; Odinokov, G N; Oglodin, E G; Nosov, N Yu; Vinogradova, N A; Guseva, N P; Eroshenko, G A; Kutyrev, V V

    2015-03-01

    The genetic diversity of Yersinia pestis strains from the Mongolian natural plague foci has been investigated. A total of 32 strains isolated from western, eastern, and central aimaks, as well as from the territory of the Gobi region, have been studied. Twenty-four strains belong to the main Y. pestis subspecies, while eight belong to other subspecies. There is only one strain of biovar medievalis (genovariant 2.MED1) among the strains of the main subspecies, while the rest of the subspecies belong to the biovar antiqua. Biovar antiqua strains are split into three groups. Strains from the eastern part of the country were classified as genovariant 2.ANT3, and those from the western and central regions were classified as genovariant 3.ANT2, which was endemic for Mongolia. One strain from the Bayan-Ulegeiskii aimak had the rare genovariant 4.ANT. None of the strains of the biovar antiqua belonged to its ancient 0.ANT branch, which is inconsistent with the commonly accepted idea that ancient marmot's plague agent race originates from Mongolia. Six out of eight strains of the minor subspecies belonged to the ulegeica subspecies, which are endemic to Mongolia, one strain belonged to the microtus group, and the last belonged to a previously uncharacterized variant of the minor subspecies.

  10. Emergence, spread, persistence and fade-out of sylvatic plague in Kazakhstan.

    PubMed

    Heier, Lise; Storvik, Geir O; Davis, Stephen A; Viljugrein, Hildegunn; Ageyev, Vladimir S; Klassovskaya, Evgeniya; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2011-10-01

    Predicting the dynamics of zoonoses in wildlife is important not only for prevention of transmission to humans, but also for improving the general understanding of epidemiological processes. A large dataset on sylvatic plague in the Pre-Balkhash area of Kazakhstan (collected for surveillance purposes) provides a rare opportunity for detailed statistical modelling of an infectious disease. Previous work using these data has revealed a host abundance threshold for epizootics, and climatic influences on plague prevalence. Here, we present a model describing the local space-time dynamics of the disease at a spatial scale of 20 × 20 km(2) and a biannual temporal scale, distinguishing between invasion and persistence events. We used a Bayesian imputation method to account for uncertainties resulting from poor data in explanatory variables and response variables. Spatial autocorrelation in the data was accounted for in imputations and analyses through random effects. The results show (i) a clear effect of spatial transmission, (ii) a high probability of persistence compared with invasion, and (iii) a stronger influence of rodent abundance on invasion than on persistence. In particular, there was a substantial probability of persistence also at low host abundance.

  11. [Characteristics of the multiplication of a virulent strain of the plague microbe in Xenopsylla cheopis fleas infected parenterally].

    PubMed

    Vashchenok, V S; Shchedrin, V I; Osipova, S P

    1985-01-01

    Xenopsylla cheopis fleas infected parenterally with the virulent strain of plague microbe of gerbil variant preserved the agent to the end of their lives. In the body cavity the microbes retained their ability for reproduction which was, however, limited. During the first seven days after the infection the number of microbes slightly increased and later became stabilized. Its mean indices (mean g) varied within the limits of 500 to 2000 microbe cells per 1 individual, maximum index rarely exceeded 30 000 microbe cells. Parenteral infection with plague agent did not affect essentially the longevity of fleas. PMID:4047718

  12. Research Explains Modern Art!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eickhorst, William S.

    1985-01-01

    This tongue-in-cheek article calls for the critical reexamination of the history of modern art. The author believes that modern art is neither an extension of the Renaissance aesthetic nor a collective by-product of artists possessed of creative genius. Creators of modern art were actually representational artists suffering from visual stuttering.…

  13. Ancient medical texts, modern reading problems.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Maria Carlota

    2006-12-01

    The word tradition has a very specific meaning in linguistics: the passing down of a text, which may have been completed or corrected by different copyists at different times, when the concept of authorship was not the same as it is today. When reading an ancient text the word tradition must be in the reader's mind. To discuss one of the problems an ancient text poses to its modern readers, this work deals with one of the first printed medical texts in Portuguese, the Regimento proueytoso contra ha pestenença, and draws a parallel between it and two related texts, A moche profitable treatise against the pestilence, and the Recopilaçam das cousas que conuem guardar se no modo de preseruar à Cidade de Lixboa E os sãos, & curar os que esteuerem enfermos de Peste. The problems which arise out of the textual structure of those books show how difficult is to establish a tradition of another type, the medical tradition. The linguistic study of the innumerable medieval plague treatises may throw light on the continuities and on the disruptions of the so-called hippocratic-galenical medical tradition.

  14. SEASON OF DELTAMETHRIN APPLICATION AFFECTS FLEA AND PLAGUE CONTROL IN WHITE-TAILED PRAIRIE DOG (CYNOMYS LEUCURUS) COLONIES, COLORADO, USA.

    PubMed

    Tripp, Daniel W; Streich, Sean P; Sack, Danielle A; Martin, Daniel J; Griffin, Karen A; Miller, Michael W

    2016-07-01

    In 2008 and 2009, we evaluated the duration of prophylactic deltamethrin treatments in white-tailed prairie dog ( Cynomys leucurus ) colonies and compared effects of autumn or spring dust application in suppressing flea numbers and plague. Plague occurred before and during our experiment. Overall, flea abundance tended to increase from May or June to September, but it was affected by deltamethrin treatment and plague dynamics. Success in trapping prairie dogs (animals caught/trap days) declined between June and September at all study sites. However, by September trap success on dusted sites (19%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 16-22%) was about 15-fold greater than on undusted control sites (1%; CI 0.3-4%; P≤0.0001). Applying deltamethrin dust as early as 12 mo prior seemed to afford some protection to prairie dogs. Our data showed that dusting even a portion of a prairie dog colony can prolong its persistence despite epizootic plague. Autumn dusting may offer advantages over spring in suppressing overwinter or early-spring flea activity, but timing should be adjusted to precede the annual decline in aboveground activity for hibernating prairie dog species. Large colony complexes or collections of occupied but fragmented habitat may benefit from dusting some sites in spring and others in autumn to maximize flea suppression in a portion of the complex or habitat year-round. PMID:27195680

  15. Distribution and epidemiology of genotypes of the crayfish plague agent Aphanomyces astaci from noble crayfish Astacus astacus in Finland.

    PubMed

    Viljamaa-Dirks, S; Heinikainen, S; Torssonen, H; Pursiainen, M; Mattila, J; Pelkonen, S

    2013-04-11

    The crayfish plague agent Aphanomyces astaci was isolated from 69 noble crayfish Astacus astacus samples in Finland between 1996 and 2006. All isolates were genotyped using randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). Altogether, 43 isolates belonged to the genotype group of Astacus strains (As), which is assumed to represent the genotype originally introduced into Europe around 1860 and into Finland in 1893. There were 26 crayfish plague isolates belonging to the group of Pacifastacus strain I (Ps1), which appeared in Europe after the stocking of the North American species signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus. The geographical distribution of the 2 genotypes in Finland corresponded with the stocking strategies of signal crayfish. The majority of Ps1-strains (83%) were associated with a classical crayfish plague episode involving acute mortality, compared with only 33% of the As-strains. As-strains were found more often by searching for reasons for population declines or permanently weak populations, or through cage experiments in connection with reintroduction programmes. In some water bodies, isolations of the As-strains were made in successive years. This study shows that persistent crayfish plague infection is not uncommon in noble crayfish populations. The described epidemiological features suggest a difference in virulence between these 2 genotypes.

  16. A Recombinant Raccoon Poxvirus Vaccine Expressing both Yersinia pestis F1 and Truncated V Antigens Protects Animals against Lethal Plague.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Kingstad-Bakke, Brock; Berlier, Willy; Osorio, Jorge E

    2014-01-01

    In previous studies, we demonstrated in mice and prairie dogs that simultaneous administration of two recombinant raccoon poxviruses (rRCN) expressing Yersinia pestis antigens (F1 and V307-a truncated version of the V protein) provided superior protection against plague challenge compared to individual single antigen constructs. To reduce costs of vaccine production and facilitate implementation of a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) control program for prairie dogs, a dual antigen construct is more desirable. Here we report the construction and characterization of a novel RCN-vectored vaccine that simultaneously expresses both F1 and V307 antigens. This dual antigen vaccine provided similar levels of protection against plague in both mice and prairie dogs as compared to simultaneous administration of the two single antigen constructs and was also shown to protect mice against an F1 negative strain of Y. pestis. The equivalent safety, immunogenicity and efficacy profile of the dual RCN-F1/V307 construct warrants further evaluation in field efficacy studies in sylvatic plague endemic areas. PMID:26344891

  17. A recombinant raccoon poxvirus vaccine expressing both Yersinia pestis F1 and truncated V antigens protects animals against lethal plague.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Kingstad-Bakke, B; Berlier, W; Osorio, J.E.

    2014-01-01

    In previous studies, we demonstrated in mice and prairie dogs that simultaneous administration of two recombinant raccoon poxviruses (rRCN) expressing Yersinia pestis antigens (F1 and V307-a truncated version of the V protein) provided superior protection against plague challenge compared to individual single antigen constructs. To reduce costs of vaccine production and facilitate implementation of a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) control program for prairie dogs, a dual antigen construct is more desirable. Here we report the construction and characterization of a novel RCN-vectored vaccine that simultaneously expresses both F1 and V307 antigens. This dual antigen vaccine provided similar levels of protection against plague in both mice and prairie dogs as compared to simultaneous administration of the two single antigen constructs and was also shown to protect mice against an F1 negative strain of Y. pestis.. The equivalent safety, immunogenicity and efficacy profile of the dual RCN-F1/V307 construct warrants further evaluation in field efficacy studies in sylvatic plague endemic areas.

  18. Deltamethrin flea-control preserves genetic variability of black-tailed prairie dogs during a plague outbreak

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, P.H.; Biggins, D.E.; Eads, D.A.; Eads, S.L.; Britten, H.B.

    2012-01-01

    Genetic variability and structure of nine black-tailed prairie dog (BTPD, Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies were estimated with 15 unlinked microsatellite markers. A plague epizootic occurred between the first and second years of sampling and our study colonies were nearly extirpated with the exception of three colonies in which prairie dog burrows were previously dusted with an insecticide, deltamethrin, used to control fleas (vectors of the causative agent of plague, Yersinia pestis). This situation provided context to compare genetic variability and structure among dusted and non-dusted colonies pre-epizootic, and among the three dusted colonies pre- and post-epizootic. We found no statistical difference in population genetic structures between dusted and non-dusted colonies pre-epizootic. On dusted colonies, gene flow and recent migration rates increased from the first (pre-epizootic) year to the second (post-epizootic) year which suggested dusted colonies were acting as refugia for prairie dogs from surrounding colonies impacted by plague. Indeed, in the dusted colonies, estimated densities of adult prairie dogs (including dispersers), but not juveniles (non-dispersers), increased from the first year to the second year. In addition to preserving BTPDs and many species that depend on them, protecting colonies with deltamethrin or a plague vaccine could be an effective method to preserve genetic variability of prairie dogs. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  19. The 'Hittite plague', an epidemic of tularemia and the first record of biological warfare.

    PubMed

    Trevisanato, Siro Igino

    2007-01-01

    A long-lasting epidemic that plagued the Eastern Mediterranean in the 14th century BC was traced back to a focus in Canaan along the Arwad-Euphrates trading route. The symptoms, mode of infection, and geographical area, identified the agent as Francisella tularensis, which is also credited for outbreaks in Canaan around 1715 BC and 1075 BC. At first, the 14th century epidemic contaminated an area stretching from Cyprus to Iraq, and from Israel to Syria, sparing Egypt and Anatolia due to quarantine and political boundaries, respectively. Subsequently, wars spread the disease to central Anatolia, from where it was deliberately brought to Western Anatolia, in what constitutes the first known record of biological warfare. Finally, Aegean soldiers fighting in western Anatolia returned home to their islands, further spreading the epidemic.

  20. Ecological Opportunity, Evolution, and the Emergence of Flea-Borne Plague.

    PubMed

    Hinnebusch, B Joseph; Chouikha, Iman; Sun, Yi-Cheng

    2016-07-01

    The plague bacillus Yersinia pestis is unique among the pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae in utilizing an arthropod-borne transmission route. Transmission by fleabite is a recent evolutionary adaptation that followed the divergence of Y. pestis from the closely related food- and waterborne enteric pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis A combination of population genetics, comparative genomics, and investigations of Yersinia-flea interactions have disclosed the important steps in the evolution and emergence of Y. pestis as a flea-borne pathogen. Only a few genetic changes, representing both gene gain by lateral transfer and gene loss by loss-of-function mutation (pseudogenization), were fundamental to this process. The emergence of Y. pestis fits evolutionary theories that emphasize ecological opportunity in adaptive diversification and rapid emergence of new species. PMID:27160296

  1. Spatially Distinct Neutrophil Responses within the Inflammatory Lesions of Pneumonic Plague

    PubMed Central

    Stasulli, Nikolas M.; Eichelberger, Kara R.; Price, Paul A.; Pechous, Roger D.; Montgomery, Stephanie A.; Parker, Joel S.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT During pneumonic plague, the bacterium Yersinia pestis elicits the development of inflammatory lung lesions that continue to expand throughout infection. This lesion development and persistence are poorly understood. Here, we examine spatially distinct regions of lung lesions using laser capture microdissection and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis to identify transcriptional differences between lesion microenvironments. We show that cellular pathways involved in leukocyte migration and apoptosis are downregulated in the center of lung lesions compared to the periphery. Probing for the bacterial factor(s) important for the alteration in neutrophil survival, we show both in vitro and in vivo that Y. pestis increases neutrophil survival in a manner that is dependent on the type III secretion system effector YopM. This research explores the complexity of spatially distinct host-microbe interactions and emphasizes the importance of cell relevance in assays in order to fully understand Y. pestis virulence. PMID:26463167

  2. Widal agglutination test − 100 years later: still plagued by controversy

    PubMed Central

    Olopoenia, L.; King, A.

    2000-01-01

    We review the significance of the Widal agglutination test in the diagnosis of typhoid fever. Over 100 years since its introduction as a serologic means of detecting the presence of typhoid fever, the Widal test continues to be plagued with controversies involving the quality of the antigens used and interpretation of the result, particularly in endemic areas. Areas of concern with clinical and laboratory significance discussed in this review include: the techniques of test performance, interpretation of results, limitation of the value of the test results in endemic typhoid areas, the quality of the antigens used, and alternative diagnostic tests.


Keywords: Widal agglutination test; typhoid fever PMID:10644383

  3. Phage therapy of the white plague-like disease of Favia favus in the Red Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atad, I.; Zvuloni, A.; Loya, Y.; Rosenberg, E.

    2012-09-01

    Coral disease is a major factor in the global decline of coral reefs. At present, there are no known procedures for preventing or treating infectious diseases of corals. Immunization is not possible because corals have a restricted adaptive immune system and antibiotics are neither ecologically safe nor practical in an open system. Thus, we tested phage therapy as an alternative therapeutic method for treating diseased corals. Phage BA3, specific to the coral pathogen Thalassomonas loyana, inhibited the progression of the white plague-like disease and transmission to healthy corals in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Only one out of 19 (5 %) of the healthy corals became infected when placed near phage-treated diseased corals, whereas 11 out of 18 (61 %) healthy corals were infected in the no-phage control. This is the first successful treatment for a coral disease in the sea. We posit that phage therapy of certain coral diseases is achievable in situ.

  4. Active immunization with recombinant V antigen from Yersinia pestis protects mice against plague.

    PubMed Central

    Leary, S E; Williamson, E D; Griffin, K F; Russell, P; Eley, S M; Titball, R W

    1995-01-01

    The gene encoding V antigen from Yersinia pestis was cloned into the plasmid expression vector pGEX-5X-2. When electroporated into Escherichia coli JM109, the recombinant expressed V antigen as a stable fusion protein with glutathione S-transferase. The glutathione S-transferase-V fusion protein was isolated from recombinant E. coli and cleaved with factor Xa to yield purified V antigen as a stable product. Recombinant V antigen was inoculated intraperitoneally into mice and shown to induce a protective immune response against a subcutaneous challenge with 3.74 x 10(6) CFU of virulent Y. pestis. Protection correlated with the induction of a high titer of serum antibodies and a T-cell response specific for recombinant V antigen. These results indicate that V antigen should be a major component of an improved vaccine for plague. PMID:7622205

  5. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America.

    PubMed

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research. PMID:25817984

  6. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America.

    PubMed

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research.

  7. Characterization of a Cynomolgus Macaque Model of Pneumonic Plague for Evaluation of Vaccine Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Price, Jessica; Martin, Shannon; Metcalfe, Karen; Krile, Robert; Barnewall, Roy; Hart, Mary Kate; Lockman, Hank

    2015-01-01

    The efficacy of a recombinant plague vaccine (rF1V) was evaluated in cynomolgus macaques (CMs) to establish the relationship among vaccine doses, antibody titers, and survival following an aerosol challenge with a lethal dose of Yersinia pestis strain Colorado 92. CMs were vaccinated with a range of rF1V doses on a three-dose schedule (days 0, 56, and 121) to provide a range of survival outcomes. The humoral immune response following vaccination was evaluated with anti-rF1, anti-rV, and anti-rF1V bridge enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Animals were challenged via aerosol exposure on day 149. Vaccine doses and antibody responses were each significantly associated with the probability of CM survival (P < 0.0001). Vaccination also decreased signs of pneumonic plague in a dose-dependent manner. There were statistically significant correlations between the vaccine dose and the time to onset of fever (P < 0.0001), the time from onset of fever to death (P < 0.0001), the time to onset of elevated respiratory rate (P = 0.0003), and the time to onset of decreased activity (P = 0.0251) postinfection in animals exhibiting these clinical signs. Delays in the onset of these clinical signs of disease were associated with larger doses of rF1V. Immunization with ≥12 μg of rF1V resulted in 100% CM survival. Since both the vaccine dose and anti-rF1V antibody titers correlate with survival, rF1V bridge ELISA titers can be used as a correlate of protection. PMID:26224691

  8. Characterization of a Cynomolgus Macaque Model of Pneumonic Plague for Evaluation of Vaccine Efficacy.

    PubMed

    Fellows, Patricia; Price, Jessica; Martin, Shannon; Metcalfe, Karen; Krile, Robert; Barnewall, Roy; Hart, Mary Kate; Lockman, Hank

    2015-09-01

    The efficacy of a recombinant plague vaccine (rF1V) was evaluated in cynomolgus macaques (CMs) to establish the relationship among vaccine doses, antibody titers, and survival following an aerosol challenge with a lethal dose of Yersinia pestis strain Colorado 92. CMs were vaccinated with a range of rF1V doses on a three-dose schedule (days 0, 56, and 121) to provide a range of survival outcomes. The humoral immune response following vaccination was evaluated with anti-rF1, anti-rV, and anti-rF1V bridge enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Animals were challenged via aerosol exposure on day 149. Vaccine doses and antibody responses were each significantly associated with the probability of CM survival (P < 0.0001). Vaccination also decreased signs of pneumonic plague in a dose-dependent manner. There were statistically significant correlations between the vaccine dose and the time to onset of fever (P < 0.0001), the time from onset of fever to death (P < 0.0001), the time to onset of elevated respiratory rate (P = 0.0003), and the time to onset of decreased activity (P = 0.0251) postinfection in animals exhibiting these clinical signs. Delays in the onset of these clinical signs of disease were associated with larger doses of rF1V. Immunization with ≥ 12 μg of rF1V resulted in 100% CM survival. Since both the vaccine dose and anti-rF1V antibody titers correlate with survival, rF1V bridge ELISA titers can be used as a correlate of protection.

  9. Oral administration of a recombinant attenuated Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strain elicits protective immunity against plague.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wei; Sanapala, Shilpa; Rahav, Hannah; Curtiss, Roy

    2015-11-27

    A Yersinia pseudotuberculosis PB1+ (Yptb PB1+) mutant strain combined with chromosome insertion of the caf1R-caf1A-caf1M-caf1 operon and deletions of yopJ and yopK, χ10068 [pYV-ω2 (ΔyopJ315 ΔyopK108) ΔlacZ044::caf1R-caf1M-caf1A-caf1] was constructed. Results indicated that gene insertion and deletion did not affect the growth rate of χ10068 compared to wild-type Yptb cultured at 26 °C. In addition, the F1 antigen in χ10068 was synthesized and secreted on the surface of bacteria at 37 °C (mammalian body temperature), not at ambient culture temperature (26 °C). Immunization with χ10068 primed antibody responses and specific T-cell responses to F1 and YpL (Y. pestis whole cell lysate). Oral immunization with a single dose of χ10068 provided 70% protection against a subcutaneous (s.c.) challenge with ∼ 2.6 × 10(5) LD50 of Y. pestis KIM6+ (pCD1Ap) (KIM6+Ap) and 90% protection against an intranasal (i.n.) challenge with ∼ 500 LD50 of KIM6+Ap in mice. Our results suggest that χ10068 can be used as an effective precursor to make a safe vaccine to prevent plague in humans and to eliminate plague circulation among humans and animals.

  10. Circumventing Y. pestis Virulence by Early Recruitment of Neutrophils to the Lungs during Pneumonic Plague.

    PubMed

    Vagima, Yaron; Zauberman, Ayelet; Levy, Yinon; Gur, David; Tidhar, Avital; Aftalion, Moshe; Shafferman, Avigdor; Mamroud, Emanuelle

    2015-05-01

    Pneumonic plague is a fatal disease caused by Yersinia pestis that is associated with a delayed immune response in the lungs. Because neutrophils are the first immune cells recruited to sites of infection, we investigated the mechanisms responsible for their delayed homing to the lung. During the first 24 hr after pulmonary infection with a fully virulent Y. pestis strain, no significant changes were observed in the lungs in the levels of neutrophils infiltrate, expression of adhesion molecules, or the expression of the major neutrophil chemoattractants keratinocyte cell-derived chemokine (KC), macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2) and granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF). In contrast, early induction of chemokines, rapid neutrophil infiltration and a reduced bacterial burden were observed in the lungs of mice infected with an avirulent Y. pestis strain. In vitro infection of lung-derived cell-lines with a YopJ mutant revealed the involvement of YopJ in the inhibition of chemoattractants expression. However, the recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs of mice infected with the mutant was still delayed and associated with rapid bacterial propagation and mortality. Interestingly, whereas KC, MIP-2 and G-CSF mRNA levels in the lungs were up-regulated early after infection with the mutant, their protein levels remained constant, suggesting that Y. pestis may employ additional mechanisms to suppress early chemoattractants induction in the lung. It therefore seems that prevention of the early influx of neutrophils to the lungs is of major importance for Y. pestis virulence. Indeed, pulmonary instillation of KC and MIP-2 to G-CSF-treated mice infected with Y. pestis led to rapid homing of neutrophils to the lung followed by a reduction in bacterial counts at 24 hr post-infection and improved survival rates. These observations shed new light on the virulence mechanisms of Y. pestis during pneumonic plague, and have implications for the development of novel

  11. [Control and eradication strategies for classic fowl plague in Germany and the European Union].

    PubMed

    Werner, Ortrud; Harder, Timm C

    2006-01-01

    The huge potential economic impact of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) substantiates specific and rigorous legal regulations worldwide. According to the O.I.E. Terrestrial Animal Health Code fowl plague is a notifiable disease. International trading activities concerning poultry and poultry products originating from countries with active HPAI are rigorously restricted. In EU member states directive 92/40/EEC subsumes measures against fowl plague and has been transferred into German legislation by the "Geflügelpest-Verordnung". These acts specify that vaccination against HPAI is principally prohibited. The aim of all sanctions is the extinction of disease and the eradication of the causative agent. However, HPAI viruses, exclusively belonging to subtypes H5 and H7, can re-emerge de novo from progenitor viruses of low pathogenicity which are perpetuated in the wild bird population. An outbreak of HPAI requires prompt action by a stamping out strategy. Fast and accurate diagnosis, a strict stand-still and the culling of affected flocks are at the basis of success. In areas with a high density of poultry holdings preemptive culling and creation of buffer zones, devoid of susceptible poultry, may be neccessary. In these cases emergency vaccinations can be considered as a supportive measure in order to limit mass culling. Vaccinations on merely prophylactic grounds, not being connected to acute outbreaks, should be avoided beware of selective pressures on the virus leading to antigenic drift and escape of vaccine-induced immunity. Instead, high standard biosecurity measures, particularly limiting direct and indirect contacts with wild birds, should be maintained.

  12. Investigation of plague lipopolysaccharide complex formation with artificial phospholipid vesicles by elastic laser radiation scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusev, V. V.; Guseva, N. P.; Tatarintsev, S. N.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes the investigation of incorporation processes of the plague lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into artificial phospholipid vesicles (PLV) on the basis of elastic laser radiation scattering. For this purpose, the angular light scattering dependencies of PLV suspensions, containing various LPS concentrations (0 - 5 mg/ml), were measured using the polarization nephelometer. The design of the polarization nephelometer and the measurement technique are described in detail. Measuring results are compared with electron microscopy data. The most pronounced variation as a result of LPS incorporation into PLV appeared to be the light scattering integral intensity (LSII) at angles exceeding 100. It is shown that the LPS adding into the PLV suspension causes the LSII to increase by a factor 2 - 6 for a LPS concentration range from 0.5 to 5 mg/ml as compared with `empty' PLV. Proceeding from the electron microscopy data it was found that the LSII increase, in general case, is conditioned by variation of the PLV membrane refraction index and formation of PLV aggregates. It was shown that the LSII measurement for the PLV suspension containing LPS can be used as a qualitative express analysis for the LPS incorporation into PLV as well as procedure for determination of the aggregate formation stage from PLV. The LPS of the plague, which as determinants being common for various gram-negative bacteria, is of great interest from the viewpoint of creating preparations for prophylactic measures against the endotoxin infections. However, the LPS toxicity due to the lipid A presence is a disadvantage of this weak antigen. Incorporation of the LPS int bilayer phospholipid membranes leads to its lower toxicity and higher immunization ability. The immunization ability and toxicity of the LPS complexes with bilayer membranes depend essentially on the LPS quantity sorbed in the membrane, as well as on the shapes and sizes of aggregates formed by the LPS and membranes in water

  13. Beyond an AFLP genome scan towards the identification of immune genes involved in plague resistance in Rattus rattus from Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Tollenaere, C; Jacquet, S; Ivanova, S; Loiseau, A; Duplantier, J-M; Streiff, R; Brouat, C

    2013-01-01

    Genome scans using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers became popular in nonmodel species within the last 10 years, but few studies have tried to characterize the anonymous outliers identified. This study follows on from an AFLP genome scan in the black rat (Rattus rattus), the reservoir of plague (Yersinia pestis infection) in Madagascar. We successfully sequenced 17 of the 22 markers previously shown to be potentially affected by plague-mediated selection and associated with a plague resistance phenotype. Searching these sequences in the genome of the closely related species Rattus norvegicus assigned them to 14 genomic regions, revealing a random distribution of outliers in the genome (no clustering). We compared these results with those of an in silico AFLP study of the R. norvegicus genome, which showed that outlier sequences could not have been inferred by this method in R. rattus (only four of the 15 sequences were predicted). However, in silico analysis allowed the prediction of AFLP markers distribution and the estimation of homoplasy rates, confirming its potential utility for designing AFLP studies in nonmodel species. The 14 genomic regions surrounding AFLP outliers (less than 300 kb from the marker) contained 75 genes encoding proteins of known function, including nine involved in immune function and pathogen defence. We identified the two interleukin 1 genes (Il1a and Il1b) that share homology with an antigen of Y. pestis, as the best candidates for genes subject to plague-mediated natural selection. At least six other genes known to be involved in proinflammatory pathways may also be affected by plague-mediated selection.

  14. Plague gives surprises in the first decade of the 21st century in the United States and worldwide.

    PubMed

    Butler, Thomas

    2013-10-01

    Plague is an ancient disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and transmitted by rodent flea bites that continues to surprise us with first-ever events. This review documents plague in human cases in the 1st decade of the 21st century and updates our knowledge of clinical manifestations, transmission during outbreaks, diagnostic testing, antimicrobial treatment, and vaccine development. In the United States, 57 persons were reported to have the disease, of which seven died. Worldwide, 21,725 persons were affected with 1,612 deaths, for a case-fatality rate of 7.4%. The Congo reported more cases than any other country, including two large outbreaks of pneumonic plague, surpassing Madagascar, which had the most cases in the previous decade. Two United States scientists suffered fatal accidental exposures: a wildlife biologist, who carried out an autopsy on a mountain lion in Arizona in 2007, and a geneticist with subclinical hemochromatosis in Chicago, who was handling an avirulent strain of Y. pestis in 2009. Antimicrobial drugs given early after the onset of symptoms prevented many deaths; those recommended for treatment and prophylaxis included gentamicin, doxycycline, and fluoroquinolones, although fluoroquinolones have not been adequately tested in humans. Fleas that do not have their guts blocked by clotted blood meals were shown to be better transmitters of plague than blocked fleas. Under development for protection against bioterrorist use, a subunit vaccine containing F1 and V antigens of Y. pestis was administered to human volunteers eliciting antibodies without any serious side effects. These events, although showing progress, suggest that plague will persist in rodent reservoirs mostly in African countries burdened by poverty and civil unrest, causing death when patients fail to receive prompt antimicrobial treatment. PMID:24043686

  15. Perinatal exposure to the pesticide DDT impairs energy expenditure and metabolism in adult female mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) has been used extensively to control malaria, typhus, body lice and bubonic plague worldwide, until countries began restricting its use in the 1970s. Individuals exposed to elevated levels of DDT and its metabolite dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene have an increa...

  16. Nuclear weapons modernizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kristensen, Hans M.

    2014-05-01

    This article reviews the nuclear weapons modernization programs underway in the world's nine nuclear weapons states. It concludes that despite significant reductions in overall weapons inventories since the end of the Cold War, the pace of reductions is slowing - four of the nuclear weapons states are even increasing their arsenals, and all the nuclear weapons states are busy modernizing their remaining arsenals in what appears to be a dynamic and counterproductive nuclear competition. The author questions whether perpetual modernization combined with no specific plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons is consistent with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and concludes that new limits on nuclear modernizations are needed.

  17. Nuclear weapons modernizations

    SciTech Connect

    Kristensen, Hans M.

    2014-05-09

    This article reviews the nuclear weapons modernization programs underway in the world's nine nuclear weapons states. It concludes that despite significant reductions in overall weapons inventories since the end of the Cold War, the pace of reductions is slowing - four of the nuclear weapons states are even increasing their arsenals, and all the nuclear weapons states are busy modernizing their remaining arsenals in what appears to be a dynamic and counterproductive nuclear competition. The author questions whether perpetual modernization combined with no specific plan for the elimination of nuclear weapons is consistent with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and concludes that new limits on nuclear modernizations are needed.

  18. Education and Modernization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Hywel

    2005-01-01

    A review of the articles on modernization in Australia, England, New Zealand, Scotland and the USA demonstrates and discusses the complexity attached to the concept. This also enables a better understanding of the contention and controversy that surrounds the concept and its application to educational policy and practice. Modernization policies in…

  19. ART MODERN/DIALOG.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheng, Katharine K.

    1979-01-01

    Reviews ART MODERN, an on-line data base which provides comprehensive coverage of current worldwide literature on modern art and design since 1800. Areas described include scope, coverage, arrangement of printed and on-line indexes, characteristics of basic index and code searching; also search hints, search negotiation, searchguide, and data base…

  20. Modern Soviet Historiography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tishkov, Valery

    1981-01-01

    Discusses the Marxist theoretical bases and research objectives of modern Soviet historiography. Soviet historians concentrate on the historical developments of social organization and the analysis of laws governing progress in human society. The author describes current Soviet historical work on Russian, world, ancient, medieval, modern, and…

  1. Myth and Modern Man.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patai, Raphael

    Various theories about the purpose of myth are described briefly, and then the place of myth in modern life is explored. Modern man is found to still create his own myths, and his life is still influenced by mythical prototypes and images. Myths, mythical beliefs, and mythical thinking are discovered in socialist, Communist, and totalitarian…

  2. Mutated and bacteriophage T4 nanoparticle arrayed F1-V immunogens from Yersinia pestis as next generation plague vaccines.

    PubMed

    Tao, Pan; Mahalingam, Marthandan; Kirtley, Michelle L; van Lier, Christina J; Sha, Jian; Yeager, Linsey A; Chopra, Ashok K; Rao, Venigalla B

    2013-01-01

    Pneumonic plague is a highly virulent infectious disease with 100% mortality rate, and its causative organism Yersinia pestis poses a serious threat for deliberate use as a bioterror agent. Currently, there is no FDA approved vaccine against plague. The polymeric bacterial capsular protein F1, a key component of the currently tested bivalent subunit vaccine consisting, in addition, of low calcium response V antigen, has high propensity to aggregate, thus affecting its purification and vaccine efficacy. We used two basic approaches, structure-based immunogen design and phage T4 nanoparticle delivery, to construct new plague vaccines that provided complete protection against pneumonic plague. The NH₂-terminal β-strand of F1 was transplanted to the COOH-terminus and the sequence flanking the β-strand was duplicated to eliminate polymerization but to retain the T cell epitopes. The mutated F1 was fused to the V antigen, a key virulence factor that forms the tip of the type three secretion system (T3SS). The F1mut-V protein showed a dramatic switch in solubility, producing a completely soluble monomer. The F1mut-V was then arrayed on phage T4 nanoparticle via the small outer capsid protein, Soc. The F1mut-V monomer was robustly immunogenic and the T4-decorated F1mut-V without any adjuvant induced balanced TH1 and TH2 responses in mice. Inclusion of an oligomerization-deficient YscF, another component of the T3SS, showed a slight enhancement in the potency of F1-V vaccine, while deletion of the putative immunomodulatory sequence of the V antigen did not improve the vaccine efficacy. Both the soluble (purified F1mut-V mixed with alhydrogel) and T4 decorated F1mut-V (no adjuvant) provided 100% protection to mice and rats against pneumonic plague evoked by high doses of Y. pestis CO92. These novel platforms might lead to efficacious and easily manufacturable next generation plague vaccines.

  3. Small oversights that led to the Great Plague of Marseille (1720-1723): lessons from the past.

    PubMed

    Devaux, Christian A

    2013-03-01

    In recent decades, the issue of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases has become an increasingly important area of concern in public health. Today, like centuries ago, infectious diseases confront us with the fear of death and have heavily influenced social behaviors and policy decisions at local, national and international levels. Remarkably, an infectious disease such as plague, which is disseminated from one country to another mainly by commercial transportation, remains today, as it was in the distant past, a threat for human societies. Throughout history, plague outbreaks prevailed on numerous occasions in Mediterranean harbors, including Marseille in the south of France. A few months ago, the municipal authorities of the city of Marseille, announced the archaeological discovery of the last remnants of a "lazaretto" or "lazaret" (http://20.minutes.fr, March 3th, 2012), a place equipped with an infirmary and destined to isolate ship passengers quarantined for health reasons. More recently, on September 16th, 2012, the anchor of the ship "Grand Saint Antoine" responsible for bringing the plague to Marseille in 1720, was recovered and it will be restored before being presented to the public in 2013 (http://www.libemarseille.fr/henry/2012/09/lancre-du-bateau-qui-amena-la-grande-peste-%C3%A0-marseille.html). In the light of these recent archaeological discoveries, it is quite instructive to revisit the sequence of events and decisions that led to the outbreak of the Great Plague of Marseille between 1720 and 1723. It comes to the evidence that although the threat was known and health surveillance existed with quite effective preventive measures such as quarantine, the accumulation of small negligence led to one of the worst epidemics in the city (about 30% of casualties among the inhabitants). This is an excellent model to illustrate the issues we are facing with emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases today and to define how to improve biosurveillance

  4. Small oversights that led to the Great Plague of Marseille (1720-1723): lessons from the past.

    PubMed

    Devaux, Christian A

    2013-03-01

    In recent decades, the issue of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases has become an increasingly important area of concern in public health. Today, like centuries ago, infectious diseases confront us with the fear of death and have heavily influenced social behaviors and policy decisions at local, national and international levels. Remarkably, an infectious disease such as plague, which is disseminated from one country to another mainly by commercial transportation, remains today, as it was in the distant past, a threat for human societies. Throughout history, plague outbreaks prevailed on numerous occasions in Mediterranean harbors, including Marseille in the south of France. A few months ago, the municipal authorities of the city of Marseille, announced the archaeological discovery of the last remnants of a "lazaretto" or "lazaret" (http://20.minutes.fr, March 3th, 2012), a place equipped with an infirmary and destined to isolate ship passengers quarantined for health reasons. More recently, on September 16th, 2012, the anchor of the ship "Grand Saint Antoine" responsible for bringing the plague to Marseille in 1720, was recovered and it will be restored before being presented to the public in 2013 (http://www.libemarseille.fr/henry/2012/09/lancre-du-bateau-qui-amena-la-grande-peste-%C3%A0-marseille.html). In the light of these recent archaeological discoveries, it is quite instructive to revisit the sequence of events and decisions that led to the outbreak of the Great Plague of Marseille between 1720 and 1723. It comes to the evidence that although the threat was known and health surveillance existed with quite effective preventive measures such as quarantine, the accumulation of small negligence led to one of the worst epidemics in the city (about 30% of casualties among the inhabitants). This is an excellent model to illustrate the issues we are facing with emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases today and to define how to improve biosurveillance

  5. Plague Doctors in the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Mental Health Professionals and the "San Francisco Model," 1981-1990.

    PubMed

    Blair, Thomas R

    2016-01-01

    Psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals were among the first and most crucial responders to HIV/AIDS. Given an epidemic in which behavior and identity played fundamental roles, mental health professionals were uniquely positioned to conduct social research to explain the existence and spread of disease; to develop clinical understanding of psychological aspects of HIV/AIDS as they emerged; and to collaborate with affected communities to promote education and behavioral change. This study examines the roles of mental health professionals as "plague doctors" in San Francisco's response to HIV/AIDS, in the early years of the epidemic. Among the many collaborations and projects that distinguished the "San Francisco model" of response to this plague, bathhouse-based epidemiology, consult-liaison psychiatry, and community partnerships for counseling and education are examined in detail as illustrations of the epidemic-changing engagement of the mental health community. PMID:27374849

  6. A seasonal SIR metapopulation model with an Allee effect with application to controlling plague in prairie dog colonies.

    PubMed

    Ekanayake, A J; Ekanayake, D B

    2015-01-01

    For wildlife species living among patchy habitats, disease and the Allee effect (reduced per capita birth rates at low population densities) may together drive a patch's population to extinction, particularly if births are seasonal. Yet local extinction may not be indicative of global extinction, and a patch may become recolonized by migrating individuals. We introduce deterministic and stochastic susceptible, infectious, and immune epidemic models with vector species to study disease in a metapopulation with an Allee effect and seasonal birth and dispersal. We obtain conditions for the existence of a strong Allee effect and existence and stability of a disease-free positive periodic solution. These general models have application to many wildlife diseases. As a case study, we apply them to evaluate dynamics of the sylvatic plague in prairie dog colonies interconnected through dispersal. We further evaluate the effects of control of the vector population and control by immunization on plague eradication. PMID:25400201

  7. A seasonal SIR metapopulation model with an Allee effect with application to controlling plague in prairie dog colonies.

    PubMed

    Ekanayake, A J; Ekanayake, D B

    2015-01-01

    For wildlife species living among patchy habitats, disease and the Allee effect (reduced per capita birth rates at low population densities) may together drive a patch's population to extinction, particularly if births are seasonal. Yet local extinction may not be indicative of global extinction, and a patch may become recolonized by migrating individuals. We introduce deterministic and stochastic susceptible, infectious, and immune epidemic models with vector species to study disease in a metapopulation with an Allee effect and seasonal birth and dispersal. We obtain conditions for the existence of a strong Allee effect and existence and stability of a disease-free positive periodic solution. These general models have application to many wildlife diseases. As a case study, we apply them to evaluate dynamics of the sylvatic plague in prairie dog colonies interconnected through dispersal. We further evaluate the effects of control of the vector population and control by immunization on plague eradication.

  8. [Macro- and microevolution as related to the problem of origin and global expansion of the plague pathogen Yersinia pestis].

    PubMed

    Suntsov, V V; Suntsova, N I

    2008-01-01

    The ratio of macro- and microevolutionary processes is considered with reference to the ecological scenario of the origin of the plague pathogen and its subsequent natural and anthropogenic global expansion. The macroevolutionary transformation of the ancestral pseudotuberculosis microbe clone into the initial plague microbe Yersinia pestis tarbagani occurred in Central Asia at the end of the Late Pleistocene by a "vertical" Darwinian way in an inadaptive heterothermal continual intermediate environment--the Mongolian marmot Marmota sibirica-flea Oropsylla silantiewi system--via a sequence of unstable and currently extinct intermediate forms. Its natural geographic expansion on the "oil spot" principle in the postglacial time led to the microevolutionary formation of 20-30 hostal subspecies circulating in populations of the background species of burrowing rodents and pikas in arid areas of Eurasia. The intercontinental spread of the "marmot" and "rat" pathogen subspecies in the past few centuries has been exclusively anthropogenic, with the involvement of synanthropic (ship) rats.

  9. Yersinia pestis activates both IL-1β and IL-1 receptor antagonist to modulate lung inflammation during pneumonic plague.

    PubMed

    Sivaraman, Vijay; Pechous, Roger D; Stasulli, Nikolas M; Eichelberger, Kara R; Miao, Edward A; Goldman, William E

    2015-03-01

    Pneumonic plague is the most rapid and lethal form of Yersinia pestis infection. Increasing evidence suggests that Y. pestis employs multiple levels of innate immune evasion and/or suppression to produce an early "pre-inflammatory" phase of pulmonary infection, after which the disease is highly inflammatory in the lung and 100% fatal. In this study, we show that IL-1β/IL-18 cytokine activation occurs early after bacteria enter the lung, and this activation eventually contributes to pulmonary inflammation and pathology during the later stages of infection. However, the inflammatory effects of IL-1β/IL-1-receptor ligation are not observed during this first stage of pneumonic plague. We show that Y. pestis also activates the induction of IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), and this activation likely contributes to the ability of Y. pestis to establish the initial pre-inflammatory phase of disease.

  10. Differential plague-transmission dynamics determine Yersinia pestis population genetic structure on local, regional, and global scales

    PubMed Central

    Girard, Jessica M.; Wagner, David M.; Vogler, Amy J.; Keys, Christine; Allender, Christopher J.; Drickamer, Lee C.; Keim, Paul

    2004-01-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, has greatly impacted human civilization. Y. pestis is a successful global pathogen, with active foci on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Because the Y. pestis genome is highly monomorphic, previous attempts to characterize the population genetic structure within a single focus have been largely unsuccessful. Here we report that highly mutable marker loci allow determination of Y. pestis population genetic structure and tracking of transmission patterns at two spatial scales within a single focus. In addition, we found that in vitro mutation rates for these loci are similar to those observed in vivo, which allowed us to develop a mutation-rate-based model to examine transmission mechanisms. Our model suggests there are two primary components of plague ecology: a rapid expansion phase for population growth and dispersal followed by a slower persistence phase. This pattern seems consistent across local, regional, and even global scales. PMID:15173603

  11. [Histological study of Xenopsylla cheopis fleas infected with the ulegeic subspecies of the plague microbe, Yersinia pestis ulegeica].

    PubMed

    Vashchenok, V S; Iakuba, V N; Maevskiĭ, M P

    1980-08-01

    The plague microbe of the Ulegei subspecies is able to cause the stable infection of fleas of X. cheopis, which is accompanied by the formation of "block" in most individuals. The preservation of the plague agent in these ectoparasites is characterized by its variation in the number that undergoes cyclic changes depending on the feeding rate and digestion. The bloodsucking is accompanied by the excretion of some microbes and by the reproduction of the remaining ones in the midgut and proventriculus which lasts the whole 1 st stage while dense clots of erythrocytes are preserved in the intestine. In the course of blood digestion the reproduction of microbes is replaced by their dying off and when the digestion is over the quantity of microbes increases again. In this period small cocci, which form dense clots in the midgut and proventriculus, are the dominant form of microbes. PMID:7402697

  12. Microsatellite markers for direct genotyping of the crayfish plague pathogen Aphanomyces astaci (Oomycetes) from infected host tissues.

    PubMed

    Grandjean, Frédéric; Vrålstad, Trude; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier; Jelić, Mišel; Mangombi, Joa; Delaunay, Carine; Filipová, Lenka; Rezinciuc, Svetlana; Kozubíková-Balcarová, Eva; Guyonnet, Daniel; Viljamaa-Dirks, Satu; Petrusek, Adam

    2014-06-01

    Aphanomyces astaci is an invasive pathogenic oomycete responsible for the crayfish plague, a disease that has devastated European freshwater crayfish. So far, five genotype groups of this pathogen have been identified by applying random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis on axenic cultures. To allow genotyping of A. astaci in host tissue samples, we have developed co-dominant microsatellite markers for this pathogen, tested them on pure cultures of all genotype groups, and subsequently evaluated their use on tissues of (1) natural A. astaci carriers, i.e., North American crayfish species, and (2) A. astaci-infected indigenous European species from crayfish plague outbreaks. Out of over 200 potential loci containing simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs identified by 454 pyrosequencing of SSR-enriched library, we tested 25 loci with highest number of repeats, and finally selected nine that allow unambiguous separation of all known RAPD-defined genotype groups of A. astaci from axenic cultures. Using these markers, we were able to characterize A. astaci strains from DNA isolates from infected crayfish tissues when crayfish had a moderate to high agent level according to quantitative PCR analyses. The results support the hypothesis that different North American crayfish hosts carry different genotype groups of the pathogen, and confirm that multiple genotype groups, including the one originally introduced to Europe in the 19th century, cause crayfish plague outbreaks in Central Europe. So far undocumented A. astaci genotype seems to have caused one of the analysed outbreaks from the Czech Republic. The newly developed culture-independent approach allowing direct genotyping of this pathogen in both axenic cultures and mixed genome samples opens new possibilities in studies of crayfish plague pathogen distribution, diversity and epidemiology.

  13. A chaotic model for the plague epidemic that has occurred in Bombay at the end of the 19th century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangiarotti, Sylvain

    2015-04-01

    The plague epidemic that has occurred in Bombay at the end of the 19th century was detected in 1896. One year before, an Advisory Committee had been appointed by the Secretary of State for India, the Royal Society, and the Lister Institute. This Committee made numerous investigations and gathered a large panel of data including the number of people attacked and died from the plague, records of rat and flea populations, as well as meteorological records of temperature and humidity [1]. The global modeling technique [2] aims to obtain low dimensional models able to simulate the observed cycles from time series. As far as we know, this technique has been tried only to one case of epidemiological analysis (the whooping cough infection) based on a discrete formulation [3]. In the present work, the continuous time formulation of this technique is used to analyze the time evolution of the plague epidemic from this data set. One low dimensional model (three variables) is obtained exhibiting a limit cycle of period-5. A chaotic behavior could be derived from this model by tuning the model parameters. It provides a strong argument for a dynamical behavior that can be approximated by low dimensional deterministic equations. This model also provides an empirical argument for chaos in epidemics. [1] Verjbitski D. T., Bannerman W. B. & Kápadiâ R. T., 1908. Reports on Plague Investigations in India (May,1908), The Journal of Hygiene, 8(2), 161 -308. [2] Mangiarotti S., Coudret R., Drapeau L. & Jarlan L., 2012. Polynomial search and Global modelling: two algorithms for modeling chaos. Physical Review E, 86(4), 046205. [3] Boudjema G. & Cazelles B., 2003. Extraction of nonlinear dynamics from short and noisy time series. Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, 12, 2051-2069.

  14. Predicting small mammal and flea abundance using landform and soil properties in a plague endemic area in Lushoto District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Meliyo, Joel L; Kimaro, Didas N; Msanya, Balthazar M; Mulungu, Loth S; Hieronimo, Proches; Kihupi, Nganga I; Gulinck, Hubert; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Small mammals particularly rodents, are considered the primary natural hosts of plague. Literature suggests that plague persistence in natural foci has a root cause in soils. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between on the one hand landforms and associated soil properties, and on the other hand small mammals and fleas in West Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, a plague endemic area. Standard field survey methods coupled with Geographical Information System (GIS) technique were used to examine landform and soils characteristics. Soil samples were analysed in the laboratory for physico-chemical properties. Small mammals were trapped on pre-established landform positions and identified to genus/species level. Fleas were removed from the trapped small mammals and counted. Exploration of landform and soil data was done using ArcGIS Toolbox functions and descriptive statistical analysis. The relationships between landforms, soils, small mammals and fleas were established by generalised linear regression model (GLM) operated in R statistics software. Results show that landforms and soils influence the abundance of small mammals and fleas and their spatial distribution. The abundance of small mammals and fleas increased with increase in elevation. Small mammal species richness also increases with elevation. A landform-soil model shows that available phosphorus, slope aspect and elevation were statistically significant predictors explaining richness and abundance of small mammals. Fleas' abundance and spatial distribution were influenced by hill-shade, available phosphorus and base saturation. The study suggests that landforms and soils have a strong influence on the richness and evenness of small mammals and their fleas' abundance hence could be used to explain plague dynamics in the area.

  15. Predicting small mammal and flea abundance using landform and soil properties in a plague endemic area in Lushoto District, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Meliyo, Joel L; Kimaro, Didas N; Msanya, Balthazar M; Mulungu, Loth S; Hieronimo, Proches; Kihupi, Nganga I; Gulinck, Hubert; Deckers, Jozef A

    2014-07-01

    Small mammals particularly rodents, are considered the primary natural hosts of plague. Literature suggests that plague persistence in natural foci has a root cause in soils. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between on the one hand landforms and associated soil properties, and on the other hand small mammals and fleas in West Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, a plague endemic area. Standard field survey methods coupled with Geographical Information System (GIS) technique were used to examine landform and soils characteristics. Soil samples were analysed in the laboratory for physico-chemical properties. Small mammals were trapped on pre-established landform positions and identified to genus/species level. Fleas were removed from the trapped small mammals and counted. Exploration of landform and soil data was done using ArcGIS Toolbox functions and descriptive statistical analysis. The relationships between landforms, soils, small mammals and fleas were established by generalised linear regression model (GLM) operated in R statistics software. Results show that landforms and soils influence the abundance of small mammals and fleas and their spatial distribution. The abundance of small mammals and fleas increased with increase in elevation. Small mammal species richness also increases with elevation. A landform-soil model shows that available phosphorus, slope aspect and elevation were statistically significant predictors explaining richness and abundance of small mammals. Fleas' abundance and spatial distribution were influenced by hill-shade, available phosphorus and base saturation. The study suggests that landforms and soils have a strong influence on the richness and evenness of small mammals and their fleas' abundance hence could be used to explain plague dynamics in the area. PMID:26867276

  16. Crayfish plague Aphanomyces astaci detected in redclaw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Chia-Yu; Huang, Chen-Wei; Pan, Yi-Cheng

    2016-05-01

    Between December 2013 and January 2014, five outbreaks of an unknown disease with moderate to high cumulative mortality were observed among the freshwater redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) populations at four crayfish farms in Miaoli and Changhua counties (northern Taiwan) and at one crayfish farm in Pingtung County (southern Taiwan). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis allowed the detection of Aphanomyces astaci DNA in dead crayfish. Histopathological examination revealed an infection of host tissue by fungal hyphae that presented as typical non-septate hyphae within the soft abdominal cuticle from the first to second segment and in the tail fan. In PCR assays completed for the detection of crayfish plague, an expected 568-bp product, specific for the A. astaci ITS gene, was obtained from all sub-adults and adults examined. In a comparison of our strains with the known strains of A. astaci in Europe, nucleotide sequence identities were very similar, with 99.8-100% sequence similarity in that gene region. Positive reactions to in situ hybridization, using a digoxigenin (DIG)-labelled DNA probe, further confirmed A. astaci as the causative agent. This is the first report concerning natural infection of A. astaci in freshwater redclaw crayfish in Asia. PMID:27039156

  17. Managing prairie dogs by managing plague: a vaccine for the future?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Terry B.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Gober, Pete; Van Pelt, Bill E.; Miller, Michael W.; Tripp, Daniel W.; Abbott, Rachel C.; Bergman, David L.

    2014-01-01

    The Black-footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team Executive Committee is conducting a project to develop,and (hopefully) eventually implement, a plague vaccination program for prairie dogs. The project is a component of the WesternAssociation of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Grasslands Conservation Initiative. An effective, field-worthy vaccine against plaguecould be the biggest breakthrough in recovery efforts for the black-footed ferret since the 1981 rediscovery of wild ferrets nearMeeteetse, Wyoming. If proven efficacious, the vaccine could help agencies and stakeholder cooperators maintain specificpopulations of prairie dogs at robust levels, thus enhancing range-wide conservation of those species, as well recovery of the ferret,while enabling control of other prairie dog populations to resolve site-specific agricultural and human health concerns. The resultsof laboratory and field-testing in the early stages of developing this vaccine are preliminary but mostly encouraging. A plan forbroad-scale application is being developed for possible use when testing has been completed and (if warranted) the vaccine isregistered for governmental use. An overview of all aspects of the project is discussed.

  18. Expression and immunohistochemical distribution of duck plague virus glycoprotein gE in infected ducks.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hua; Cheng, Anchun; Wang, Mingshu; Xiang, Jun; Xie, Wei; Shen, Fuxiao; Jia, Renyong; Zhu, Dekang; Luo, Qihui; Zhou, Yi; Chen, Xiaoyue

    2011-03-01

    To determine the distribution of duck plague virus (DPV) gE protein in paraformaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues of experimentally DPV-infected ducks, an indirect immunoperoxidase assay was established to detect glycoprotein E (gE) protein for the first time. The rabbit anti-His-gE serum, raised against the recombinant His-gE fusion protein expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3), was prepared and purified. Western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence analysis showed that the anti-His-gE serum had a high level of reactivity and specificity and could be used as the first antibody for further experiments to study the distribution of DPV gE protein in DPV-infected tissues. A number of DPV gE proteins were distributed in the bursa of Fabricius, thymus, spleen, liver, esophagus, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and kidney of DPV-infected ducks and a few DPV gE were distributed in the Harders glands, myocardium, cerebrum, and lung, whereas the gE was not seen in the skin, muscle, and pancreas. Moreover, DPV gE was expressed abundantly in the cytoplasm of lymphocytes, reticulum cells, macrophages, epithelial cells, and hepatocytes. The present study may be useful not only for describing the characteristics of gE expression and distribution in infected ducks but also for understanding the pathogenesis of DPV.

  19. Cold tolerance of first-instar nymphs of the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera.

    PubMed

    Woodman, James D

    2010-04-01

    The cold tolerance of first-instar nymphs of the Australian plague locust, Chortoicetes terminifera, was examined using measures of total body water content, supercooling point and mortality for a range of sub-zero temperature exposure regimes. The supercooling points for starved and fed nymphs were -13.1+/-0.9 and -12.6+/-1.6 degrees C, and freezing caused complete mortality. Above these temperatures, nymphs were cold tolerant to different degrees based on whether they were starved or given access to food and water for 24h prior to exposure. The rate of cooling also had a significant effect on mortality. Very rapid cooling to -7 degrees C caused 84 and 87% mortality for starved and fed nymphs respectively, but this significantly decreased for starved nymphs if temperature declined by more ecologically realistic rates of 0.5 and 0.1 degrees C min(-1). These results are indicative of a rapid cold hardening response and are discussed in terms of the likely effects of cold nights and frost on first-instar nymphal survival in the field.

  20. Production of Outer Membrane Vesicles by the Plague Pathogen Yersinia pestis

    PubMed Central

    Caulfield, Adam J.; Rangel, Stephanie M.; Lathem, Wyndham W.

    2014-01-01

    Many Gram-negative bacteria produce outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) during cell growth and division, and some bacterial pathogens deliver virulence factors to the host via the release of OMVs during infection. Here we show that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of the disease plague, produces and releases native OMVs under physiological conditions. These OMVs, approximately 100 nm in diameter, contain multiple virulence-associated outer membrane proteins including the adhesin Ail, the F1 outer fimbrial antigen, and the protease Pla. We found that OMVs released by Y. pestis contain catalytically active Pla that is competent for plasminogen activation and α2-antiplasmin degradation. The abundance of OMV-associated proteins released by Y. pestis is significantly elevated at 37°C compared to 26°C and is increased in response to membrane stress and mutations in RseA, Hfq, and the major Braun lipoprotein (Lpp). In addition, we show that Y. pestis OMVs are able to bind to components of the extracellular matrix such as fibronectin and laminin. These data suggest that Y. pestis may produce OMVs during mammalian infection and we propose that dispersal of Pla via OMV release may influence the outcome of infection through interactions with Pla substrates such as plasminogen and Fas ligand. PMID:25198697

  1. [Highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry (fowl plague); implications for human health].

    PubMed

    Brugere-Picoux, Jeanne

    2005-11-01

    Since 1997, high-pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) virus infection in poultry "avian plague" has emerged as a potential threat to human health, with some fatal cases of bird-to-human transmission. These sporadic infections are caused by H7N7 and H5N1 viruses in Europe and Asia, respectively. The persistence of H5N1 viruses in poultry in several Asian countries, and their appearance in Europe, has raised concerns that the virus might mutate or recombine to create a human pandemic influenza A virus. Wild waterfowl are the natural reservoir of all influenza A viruses, and rarely develop the disease. Since 2002, some H5N1 HPAI viruses have become lethal for waterfowl, cats and humans, indicating an expanding host range. Transmission of H5N1 HPAI viruses from domestic poultry back to resistant domestic and wild ducks and to terrestrial birds (sparrows, pigeons, falcons, etc.) has increased the risk of geographic spread in Asia. These viruses spread through fecal contamination of the environment (particularly groundwater). Low-pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) viruses cause localized respiratory and gastrointestinal tract infection and, unlike HPAI viruses, are not detected in blood, muscle or eggs. Detection of HPAI viruses in meat, blood and internal organs of chickens and ducks raises public health concerns and underlines the need to thoroughly cook poultry and eggs consumed in Asia. The last case of HPA1 virus infection in France was notified in 1955.

  2. Incorporation-efficiency determination of the capsular plague antigen into liposomes based on elastic light scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gusev, V. V.; Guseva, N. P.; Tatarintsev, S. N.

    1995-01-01

    In this paper the principle possibility for determining the incorporation efficiency of plague capsular antigen (PCA) into liposomes on the basis of elastic light scattering is shown. To find the most informative index, which characterizes the process of PCA sorption into liposomes, the angular light scattering dependencies for the liposome suspensions containing various PCA concentrations were measured by means of laser polarization nephelometer. Its construction and measurement technique are described in detail. For all preparations to be investigated, the incorporation efficiency was determined using traditional biochemical method and correlation between the scattering matrix element values and the incorporation efficiency was made. The most informative index, characterizing the process of PCA incorporation into the liposomes, appeared to be the light scattering integral intensity (LSII) at an angle of 90 degree(s). It was found that the PCA incorporation into liposomes results in the LSII increasing by a factor of 2 - 5 times in the incorporation efficiency range from 5% to 45%. The electron microscopy data and angular dependencies for the light scattering matrix elements have shown that LSII increase is due to the refraction index variation of the liposome membrane. The obtained LSII dependence on the incorporation efficiency enables us to determine the PCA incorporation efficiency into the liposomes by measuring the LSII.

  3. The insomnia plague: a Gabriel García Márquez story.

    PubMed

    Sghirlanzoni, A; Carella, F

    2000-08-01

    "All the great writers have good eyes" is a sentence by V. Nabokov that is very suitable for G.G. Márquez and his One Hundred Years of Solitude. The novel, published in 1967, introduces among many others, the character of little Rebeca, whose frailness and greenish skin revealed hunger "that was older than she was". The girl, because of a pica syndrome, only liked to eat earth and the cake of whitewash. But her fate appears to be determined by the lethal insomnia plague, whose most fearsome part was not the impossibility of sleeping but its inexorable evolution toward a loss of memory in which the sick person "sinks into a kind of idiocy that had no past". Rebeca's lethal insomnia looks quite similar to the "peculiar, fatal disorder of sleep" originally described by Lugaresi et al. in 1986. One Hundred Years (of Solitude shows that G.G. Márquez was gifted not only with good eyes, but has the seductive power of changing reality into fantasy, while transforming his visions into reality.

  4. Temperature-sensitive mutants of fowl plague virus defective in the intracellular transport of the hemagglutinin.

    PubMed

    Naruse, H; Scholtissek, C; Klenk, H D

    1986-08-01

    Nine mutants of fowl plague virus with temperature-sensitive defects in the biosynthesis of the hemagglutinin have been characterized by analyzing the processing and the intracellular location of this glycoprotein in MDCK and chick embryo cells. It was found that with all of these mutants the transport of the hemagglutinin to the cell surface was impeded at the non-permissive temperature. There were differences, however, in the site of the block. With mutants tsl, ts227, ts478 and ts658 the precursor HA was not cleaved and the oligosaccharide side chains remained sensitive to endoglucosaminidase H. When the hemagglutinin was analyzed in permeabilized cells by immunofluorescence, usually only cytoplasmic labeling was seen. Immunofluorescence of non-permeabilized cells and hemadsorption revealed that the hemagglutinin did not reach the cell surface. In contrast, the hemagglutinin of mutants ts79, ts482, ts532, ts546 and ts651 was cleaved and oligosaccharides were processed to the endoglucosaminidase H-resistant form at non-permissive temperature. In permeabilized cells, the cytoplasm and juxtanuclear regions typical for the Golgi apparatus were labeled by immunofluorescence. Except for ts482, ts532 and ts546 which were leaky, hemagglutinin could not be detected at the cell surface. These observations indicate that, with the first group of mutants, hemagglutinin transport is usually arrested already in the rough endoplasmic reticulum, whereas with the second group it is inhibited at a late stage between the Golgi apparatus and the plasma membrane. PMID:3765827

  5. Vaccination as a potential means to prevent plague in black-footed ferrets:progress and continuing challenges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Nol, P.; Marinari, P.E.; Kreeger, J.S.; Smith, S.R.; Andrews, G.P.; Friedlander, A.W.

    2006-01-01

    received a placebo by the same route. Two weeks after the second immunization, mean antibody titers to Y. pestis F1 and V antigens were measured and found to be significantly higher in vaccinates than their preimmunization values (P < 0.0001) and significantly higher than the control values (P < 0.0001). Six months postimmunization, 16 vaccinates and eight controls were challenged with approximately 8,000 colony forming units of virulent plague by subcutaneous inoculation. Eleven of 16 vaccinates (69 percent) survived with no ill effects whereas all eight control animals died within 3a??6 days. Two months later, the 11 surviving vaccinates were challenged again by ingestion of a plague-infected mouse. None of the animals showed any ill effects and all survived. In contrast, seven control ferrets fed infected mice died within 2a??4 days, including one animal that did not actually ingest the mouse but was likely exposed to it. This study demonstrates that immunization of ferrets with the recombinant F1-V fusion protein can induce significant antibody responses and reduce their susceptibility to plague infection.

  6. Droughts may increase susceptibility of prairie dogs to fleas: Incongruity with hypothesized mechanisms of plague cycles in rodents

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David; Biggins, Dean E.; Long, Dustin H.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Antolin, Michael F.

    2016-01-01

    Plague is a reemerging, rodent-associated zoonosis caused by the flea-borne bacterium Yersinia pestis. As a vector-borne disease, rates of plague transmission may increase when fleas are abundant. Fleas are highly susceptible to desiccation under hot-dry conditions; we posited that their densities decline during droughts. We evaluated this hypothesis with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in New Mexico, June–August 2010–2012. Precipitation was relatively plentiful during 2010 and 2012 but scarce during 2011, the driest spring–summer on record for the northeastern grasslands of New Mexico. Unexpectedly, fleas were 200% more abundant in 2011 than in 2010 and 2012. Prairie dogs were in 27% better condition during 2010 and 2012, and they devoted 287% more time to grooming in 2012 than in 2011. During 2012, prairie dogs provided with supplemental food and water were in 23% better condition and carried 40% fewer fleas. Collectively, these results suggest that during dry years, prairie dogs are limited by food and water, and they exhibit weakened defenses against fleas. Long-term data are needed to evaluate the generality of whether droughts increase flea densities and how changes in flea abundance during sequences of dry and wet years might affect plague cycles in mammalian hosts.

  7. Spatial distribution and ecological environment analysis of great gerbil in Xinjiang Plague epidemic foci based on remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Mengxu; Li, Qun; Cao, Chunxiang; Wang, Juanle

    2014-03-01

    Yersinia pestis (Plague bacterium) from great gerbil was isolated in 2005 in Xinjiang Dzungarian Basin, which confirmed the presence of the plague epidemic foci. This study analysed the spatial distribution and suitable habitat of great gerbil based on the monitoring data of great gerbil from Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the ecological environment elements obtained from remote sensing products. The results showed that: (1) 88.5% (277/313) of great gerbil distributed in the area of elevation between 200 and 600 meters. (2) All the positive points located in the area with a slope of 0-3 degree, and the sunny tendency on aspect was not obvious. (3) All 313 positive points of great gerbil distributed in the area with an average annual temperature from 5 to 11 °C, and 165 points with an average annual temperature from 7 to 9 °C. (4) 72.8% (228/313) of great gerbil survived in the area with an annual precipitation of 120-200mm. (5) The positive points of great gerbil increased correspondingly with the increasing of NDVI value, but there is no positive point when NDVI is higher than 0.521, indicating the suitability of vegetation for great gerbil. This study explored a broad and important application for the monitoring and prevention of plague using remote sensing and geographic information system.

  8. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identification of rodent blood meals confirms host sharing by flea vectors of plague.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Heather A; Stapp, Paul; Cohen, Amybeth

    2010-12-01

    Elucidating feeding relationships between hosts and parasites remains a significant challenge in studies of the ecology of infectious diseases, especially those involving small or cryptic vectors. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are a species of conservation importance in the North American Great Plains whose populations are extirpated by plague, a flea-vectored, bacterial disease. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, we determined that fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta) associated with prairie dogs feed upon northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster), a rodent that has been implicated in the transmission and maintenance of plague in prairie-dog colonies. Our results definitively show that grasshopper mice not only share fleas with prairie dogs during plague epizootics, but also provide them with blood meals, offering a mechanism by which the pathogen, Yersinia pestis, may be transmitted between host species and maintained between epizootics. The lack of identifiable host DNA in a significant fraction of engorged Oropsylla hirsuta collected from animals (47%) and prairie-dog burrows (100%) suggests a rapid rate of digestion and feeding that may facilitate disease transmission during epizootics but also complicate efforts to detect feeding on alternative hosts. Combined with other analytical approaches, e.g., stable isotope analysis, molecular genetic techniques can provide novel insights into host-parasite feeding relationships and improve our understanding of the role of alternative hosts in the transmission and maintenance of disease. PMID:21175944

  9. Do pathogens reduce genetic diversity of their hosts? Variable effects of sylvatic plague in black-tailed prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Sackett, Loren C; Collinge, Sharon K; Martin, Andrew P

    2013-05-01

    Introduced diseases can cause dramatic declines in-and even the loss of-natural populations. Extirpations may be followed by low recolonization rates, leading to inbreeding and a loss of genetic variation, with consequences on population viability. Conversely, extirpations may create vacant habitat patches that individuals from multiple source populations can colonize, potentially leading to an influx of variation. We tested these alternative hypotheses by sampling 15 colonies in a prairie dog metapopulation during 7 years that encompassed an outbreak of sylvatic plague, providing the opportunity to monitor genetic diversity before, during and after the outbreak. Analysis of nine microsatellite loci revealed that within the metapopulation, there was no change in diversity. However, within extirpated colonies, patterns varied: In half of the colonies, allelic richness after recovery was less than the preplague conditions, and in the other half, richness was greater than the preplague conditions. Finally, analysis of variation within individuals revealed that prairie dogs present in recolonized colonies had higher heterozygosity than those present before plague. We confirmed plague survivorship in six founders; these individuals had significantly higher heterozygosity than expected by chance. Collectively, our results suggest that high immigration rates can maintain genetic variation at a regional scale despite simultaneous extirpations in spatially proximate populations. Thus, virulent diseases may increase genetic diversity of host populations by creating vacant habitats that allow an influx of genetic diversity. Furthermore, even highly virulent diseases may not eliminate individuals randomly; rather, they may selectively remove the most inbred individuals. PMID:23452304

  10. Genetic variations of live attenuated plague vaccine strains (Yersinia pestis EV76 lineage) during laboratory passages in different countries.

    PubMed

    Cui, Yujun; Yang, Xianwei; Xiao, Xiao; Anisimov, Andrey P; Li, Dongfang; Yan, Yanfeng; Zhou, Dongsheng; Rajerison, Minoarisoa; Carniel, Elisabeth; Achtman, Mark; Yang, Ruifu; Song, Yajun

    2014-08-01

    Plague, one of the most devastating infectious diseases in human history, is caused by the bacterial species Yersinia pestis. A live attenuated Y. pestis strain (EV76) has been widely used as a plague vaccine in various countries around the world. Here we compared the whole genome sequence of an EV76 strain used in China (EV76-CN) with the genomes of Y. pestis wild isolates to identify genetic variations specific to the EV76 lineage. We identified 6 SNPs and 6 Indels (insertions and deletions) differentiating EV76-CN from its counterparts. Then, we screened these polymorphic sites in 28 other strains of EV76 lineage that were stored in different countries. Based on the profiles of SNPs and Indels, we reconstructed the parsimonious dissemination history of EV76 lineage. This analysis revealed that there have been at least three independent imports of EV76 strains into China. Additionally, we observed that the pyrE gene is a mutation hotspot in EV76 lineages. The fine comparison results based on whole genome sequence in this study provide better understanding of the effects of laboratory passages on the accumulation of genetic polymorphisms in plague vaccine strains. These variations identified here will also be helpful in discriminating different EV76 derivatives.

  11. Facility Modernization Report

    SciTech Connect

    Robinson, D; Ackley, R

    2007-05-10

    Modern and technologically up-to-date facilities and systems infrastructure are necessary to accommodate today's research environment. In response, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has a continuing commitment to develop and apply effective management models and processes to maintain, modernize, and upgrade its facilities to meet the science and technology mission. The Facility Modernization Pilot Study identifies major subsystems of facilities that are either technically or functionally obsolete, lack adequate capacity and/or capability, or need to be modernized or upgraded to sustain current operations and program mission. This study highlights areas that need improvement, system interdependencies, and how these systems/subsystems operate and function as a total productive unit. Although buildings are 'grandfathered' in and are not required to meet current codes unless there are major upgrades, this study also evaluates compliance with 'current' building, electrical, and other codes. This study also provides an evaluation of the condition and overall general appearance of the structure.

  12. Etymology and Modern Linguistics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Malkiel, Yakov

    1975-01-01

    Discusses the estrangement between etymology and modern linguistics, and concludes that a reconciliation between spatio-temporal linguistics and etymology must occur, because without it, both disciplines are doomed to inanition. (Author/AM)

  13. Foucault and modern medicine.

    PubMed

    Peerson, A

    1995-06-01

    Modernity as a concept or ideal, resulting from the age of Enlightenment and the French Revolution gave hope of a better future and new possibilities. To be modern means an 'enlightened' individual and society, welcoming change and development. In this paper, I will discuss Foucault's analysis (1973) of problematics in medicine in eighteenth century France. Three themes prominent in the text are: 'the birth of the clinic', 'the clinical gaze' and the power-knowledge relationship. Three problematics identified in modern medicine by Foucault and which are particularly relevant to twentieth century medicine are: (i) the extension of the clinical gaze from the individual body to the wider population; (ii) the increasing medical intervention and use of technology in fundamental life processes; and (iii) the relationship between society and medicine. I will argue that Foucault's analysis is fraught with ambiguities. It is useful, however, for establishing an explanation for medicine today and for presenting a particular interpretation of modernity.

  14. Temporal Progression of Pneumonic Plague in Blood of Nonhuman Primate: A Transcriptomic Analysis.

    PubMed

    Hammamieh, Rasha; Muhie, Seid; Borschel, Richard; Gautam, Aarti; Miller, Stacy-Ann; Chakraborty, Nabarun; Jett, Marti

    2016-01-01

    Early identification of impending illness during widespread exposure to a pathogenic agent offers a potential means to initiate treatment during a timeframe when it would be most likely to be effective and has the potential to identify novel therapeutic strategies. The latter could be critical, especially as antibiotic resistance is becoming widespread. In order to examine pre-symptomatic illness, African green monkeys were challenged intranasally with aerosolized Yersinia pestis strain CO92 and blood samples were collected in short intervals from 45 m till 42 h post-exposure. Presenting one of the first genomic investigations of a NHP model challenged by pneumonic plague, whole genome analysis was annotated in silico and validated by qPCR assay. Transcriptomic profiles of blood showed early perturbation with the number of differentially expressed genes increasing until 24 h. By then, Y. pestis had paralyzed the host defense, as suggested by the functional analyses. Early activation of the apoptotic networks possibly facilitated the pathogen to overwhelm the defense mechanisms, despite the activation of the pro-inflammatory mechanism, toll-like receptors and microtubules at the port-of-entry. The overexpressed transcripts encoding an early pro-inflammatory response particularly manifested in active lymphocytes and ubiquitin networks were a potential deviation from the rodent models, which needs further verification. In summary, the present study recognized a pattern of Y. pestis pathogenesis potentially more applicable to the human system. Independent validation using the complementary omics approach with comprehensive evaluation of the organs, such as lungs which showed early bacterial infection, is essential. PMID:27003632

  15. Studies on vertical and horizontal transmission of duck plague virus in apparently healthy waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burgess, Elizabeth C.

    1978-01-01

    Healthy waterfowl were found to be carriers of duck plague (DP) virus. Black ducks (Anas rubripes) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis) surviving a natural outbreak of DP at Coloma, Wisconsin, in 1973 yielded DP virus in cloacal swabs taken four years postinfection. Experimental infection of previously unexposed mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynochos) with the Coloma strain of DP virus CO-WI (73) also produced cloacal virus shedding for up to four years after infection. A second DP virus strain, LA-SD (73) from the Lake Andes, South Dakota, epornitic, was detected from cloacal swabs of pintail ducks (Anas acuta), gadwall ducks (Anas strepera), wood ducks (Aix sponsa), and Canada geese infected experimentally one year before. The frequency of swabs positive for DP virus varied between individuals within each of the tested species. The amount of detectable DP virus shed was about 100 plaqueforming units of virus percloacal swab. Oral erosions were present in all species tested except Canada geese and gadwall ducks. Erosions occurred at the openings of the sublingual salivary gland ducts. DP virus was isolated from erosions. All ducks with lesions proved to shed DP virus, although not necessarily at the time they had the lesion. Three pintail ducks treated with dexamethasone for ten days, shed DP virus daily for 19 days after the first day of treatment. These birds also shed DP virus the one time they were tested prior to dexamethosone treatment. An acute lethal outbreak occurred in CO-WI (73) carrier birds. Both DP virus and specific lesions were found in dead birds. The deaths coincided with a change in housing and with the simultaneous introduction of co-housed LA-SD (73) infected ducklings. DP virus was isolated from the chorio-allantoic (CA) fluid of a fourteen day pekin embryo and from five of ten infertile pekin eggs laid by DP carrier birds.

  16. Temporal Progression of Pneumonic Plague in Blood of Nonhuman Primate: A Transcriptomic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Borschel, Richard; Gautam, Aarti; Miller, Stacy-Ann; Chakraborty, Nabarun; Jett, Marti

    2016-01-01

    Early identification of impending illness during widespread exposure to a pathogenic agent offers a potential means to initiate treatment during a timeframe when it would be most likely to be effective and has the potential to identify novel therapeutic strategies. The latter could be critical, especially as antibiotic resistance is becoming widespread. In order to examine pre-symptomatic illness, African green monkeys were challenged intranasally with aerosolized Yersinia pestis strain CO92 and blood samples were collected in short intervals from 45 m till 42 h post-exposure. Presenting one of the first genomic investigations of a NHP model challenged by pneumonic plague, whole genome analysis was annotated in silico and validated by qPCR assay. Transcriptomic profiles of blood showed early perturbation with the number of differentially expressed genes increasing until 24 h. By then, Y. pestis had paralyzed the host defense, as suggested by the functional analyses. Early activation of the apoptotic networks possibly facilitated the pathogen to overwhelm the defense mechanisms, despite the activation of the pro-inflammatory mechanism, toll-like receptors and microtubules at the port-of-entry. The overexpressed transcripts encoding an early pro-inflammatory response particularly manifested in active lymphocytes and ubiquitin networks were a potential deviation from the rodent models, which needs further verification. In summary, the present study recognized a pattern of Y. pestis pathogenesis potentially more applicable to the human system. Independent validation using the complementary omics approach with comprehensive evaluation of the organs, such as lungs which showed early bacterial infection, is essential. PMID:27003632

  17. Timing and quantifying Aphanomyces astaci sporulation from the noble crayfish suffering from the crayfish plague.

    PubMed

    Makkonen, J; Strand, D A; Kokko, H; Vrålstad, T; Jussila, J

    2013-03-23

    Aphanomyces astaci sporulation is crucial for the spreading potential of this disease agent. For the first time, we are reporting timing and quantity of A. astaci spores released from noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) suffering from crayfish plague under practical aquatic conditions. We infected nine noble crayfish with A. astaci PsI-genotype and maintained them in individual 8L tanks. Spores (zoospores and cysts) were quantified from water samples (3 × 1 mL) taken every 12h over 10 d using A. astaci specific qPCR. A clear sporulation trend was found, together with a high individual spore estimate variation. The median spore counts from two days before death to 12h post mortem were from ~500 to ~2000 spores L(-1). A significant sporulation increase occurred after 24h post mortem (~12,000 spores L(-1)) and reached a peak after two days (~65,000 spores L(-1)) before declining to or below pre mortem levels from the fourth day. The single most sporulating crayfish released from ~75,000 to ~400,000 spores L(-1) during the mass sporulating period, yielding a maximum estimate of ~3,200,000 spores released from a single crayfish if we assume homogeneous spore distribution. The results confirm a mass A. astaci spore release from moribund and recently dead infected noble crayfish, with a sporulation peak one to three days post mortem. The acute crayfish mortality only three days after zoospore exposure confirm the lethal potential of the PsI-genotype. The powerful sporulation potential observed here may be one of the key virulence factors of this genotype.

  18. Virulence of six strains of duck plague virus in eight waterfowl species.

    PubMed

    Spieker, J O; Yuill, T M; Burgess, E C

    1996-07-01

    Susceptibility of New World waterfowl to the Lake Andes strain of duck plague virus (DPV) was assessed by intramuscular inoculation of adult muscovies (Cairina moschata), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), Canada geese (Branta canadensis), wood ducks (Aix sponsa), redheads (Aythya americana), gadwalls (Anas strepera), blue-winged teal (Anas discors), and pintails (Anas acuta). The relative virulence of DPV strains isolated from five United States and one Canadian location was established in muscovies, mallards, and Canada geese. Differences in DPV strain virulence were detected by formation of plaques in cell culture. Two strains that consistently formed plaques killed adult mallards while non-plaque forming strains killed hatchling but not adult mallards. Based on mortality after exposure to the Lake Andes strain, blue-winged teal, then wood ducks and redheads were highly susceptible, muscovies and gadwalls moderately susceptible, mallards and Canada geese less susceptible, and pintails the least susceptible. Mean death times were significantly (P < 0.01) different between adult muscovies (4.5 days) versus mallards and Canada geese (5.8 days each). Mean death time of the virulent Lake Andes and Minnesota strains were shorter (P < 0.05) than for the other four, less virulent DPV strains. Four of the less virulent strains killed hatchling but not adult mallards. Susceptibility to mortality was dependent upon age and route of inoculation. The intramuscular route of inoculation required the least amount of virus to kill mallard and muscovy ducks, the intranasal and conjunctival routes required more virus, and the oral route the most virus. This study was conducted from 1974 to 1977 between the months of September and April, with the exception of two titrations conducted in early May at the University of Wisconsin Department of Veterinary Science and the Charmany research facility of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  19. A live attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis KIM as a vaccine against plague.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wei; Six, David; Kuang, Xiaoying; Roland, Kenneth L; Raetz, Christian R H; Curtiss, Roy

    2011-04-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is a potential weapon of bioterrorism. Y. pestis evades the innate immune system by synthesizing tetra-acylated lipid A with poor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-stimulating activity at 37°C, whereas hexa-acylated lipid A, a potent TLR4 agonist, is made at lower temperatures. Synthesis of Escherichia coli LpxL, which transfers the secondary laurate chain to the 2'-position of lipid A, in Y. pestis results in production of hexa-acylated lipid A at 37°C, leading to significant attenuation of virulence. Previously, we described a Y. pestis vaccine strain in which crp expression is under the control of the arabinose-regulated araC P(BAD) promoter, resulting in a 4-5 log reduction in virulence. To reduce the virulence of the crp promoter mutant further, we introduced E. coli lpxL into the Y. pestis chromosome. The χ10030(pCD1Ap) (ΔlpxP32::P(lpxL)lpxL ΔP(crp21)::TT araC P(BAD)crp) construct likewise produced hexa-acylated lipid A at 37°C and was significantly more attenuated than strains harboring each individual mutation. The LD(50) of the mutant in mice, when administered subcutaneously or intranasally was >10(7)-times and >10(4)-times greater than wild type, respectively. Mice immunized subcutaneously with a single dose of the mutant were completely protected against a subcutaneous challenge of 3.6×10(7) wild-type Y. pestis and significantly protected (80% survival) against a pulmonary challenge of 1.2×10(4) live cells. Intranasal immunization also provided significant protection against challenges by both routes. This mutant is an immunogenic, highly attenuated live Y. pestis construct that merits further development as a vaccine candidate.

  20. A baiting system for delivery of an oral plague vaccine to black-tailed prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Creekmore, Terry E.; Rocke, T.E.; Hurley, J.

    2002-01-01

    Laboratory and field studies were conducted between July and October 1999 to identify bait preference, biomarker efficacy, and bait acceptance rates for delivering an oral plague vaccine to black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Twenty juvenile captive prairie dogs were offered alfalfa baits containing either alfalfa, alfalfa and 5% molasses, or alfalfa, 5% molasses and 4% salt. Based on the results of these trials we selected a bait containing alfalfa, 7% molasses, and 1% salt for field trials to determine bait acceptance rates by free-ranging animals. The biomarkers DuPont Blue dye, iophenoxic acid, and tetracycline hydrochloride were orally administered to captive prairie dogs to determine their efficacy. Only tetracycline proved effective as a biomarker. Two field trials were conducted at separate prairie dog colonies located at the Buffalo Gap National Grassland (Pennington County, South Dakota, USA). In Trial 1, three baits containing tetracycline were distributed around each active burrow entrance and an additional bait was placed inside the burrow (1,276 baits total). In Trial 2, baits were distributed at the same density per burrow as Trial 1, but along transects spaced 10 m apart (1,744 baits total). Trapping began 3 days after bait distribution, and 30 prairie dogs then were captured at each site to determine the percentage of animals marked. In Trial 1, 67% of the prairie dogs captured had tetracycline deposits indicative of bait consumption. In Trial 2, 83% of the prairie dogs had ingested a bait. Approximately 15% of the animals in both trials ate more than one bait. Fleas (Opisocrostis hirsutus) were found on 64 of 70 (91%) of the prairie dogs captured during this study.

  1. Temporal Progression of Pneumonic Plague in Blood of Nonhuman Primate: A Transcriptomic Analysis.

    PubMed

    Hammamieh, Rasha; Muhie, Seid; Borschel, Richard; Gautam, Aarti; Miller, Stacy-Ann; Chakraborty, Nabarun; Jett, Marti

    2016-01-01

    Early identification of impending illness during widespread exposure to a pathogenic agent offers a potential means to initiate treatment during a timeframe when it would be most likely to be effective and has the potential to identify novel therapeutic strategies. The latter could be critical, especially as antibiotic resistance is becoming widespread. In order to examine pre-symptomatic illness, African green monkeys were challenged intranasally with aerosolized Yersinia pestis strain CO92 and blood samples were collected in short intervals from 45 m till 42 h post-exposure. Presenting one of the first genomic investigations of a NHP model challenged by pneumonic plague, whole genome analysis was annotated in silico and validated by qPCR assay. Transcriptomic profiles of blood showed early perturbation with the number of differentially expressed genes increasing until 24 h. By then, Y. pestis had paralyzed the host defense, as suggested by the functional analyses. Early activation of the apoptotic networks possibly facilitated the pathogen to overwhelm the defense mechanisms, despite the activation of the pro-inflammatory mechanism, toll-like receptors and microtubules at the port-of-entry. The overexpressed transcripts encoding an early pro-inflammatory response particularly manifested in active lymphocytes and ubiquitin networks were a potential deviation from the rodent models, which needs further verification. In summary, the present study recognized a pattern of Y. pestis pathogenesis potentially more applicable to the human system. Independent validation using the complementary omics approach with comprehensive evaluation of the organs, such as lungs which showed early bacterial infection, is essential.

  2. A live attenuated strain of Yersinia pestis KIM as a vaccine against plague

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Wei; Six, David; Kuang, Xiaoying; Roland, Kenneth L; Raetz, Christian R.H.; Curtiss, Roy

    2011-01-01

    Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is a potential weapon of bioterrorism. Y. pestis evades the innate immune system by synthesizing tetra-acylated lipid A with poor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-stimulating activity at 37°C, whereas hexa-acylated lipid A, a potent TLR4 agonist, is made at lower temperatures. Synthesis of Escherichia coli LpxL, which transfers the secondary laurate chain to the 2′-position of lipid A, in Y. pestis results in production of hexa-acylated lipid A at 37°C, leading to significant attenuation of virulence. Previously, we described a Y. pestis vaccine strain in which crp expression is under the control of the arabinose-regulated araC PBAD promoter, resulting in a 4-5 log reduction in virulence. To reduce the virulence of the crp promoter mutant further, we introduced E. coli lpxL into the Y. pestis chromosome. The χ10030(pCD1Ap) (ΔlpxP32::PlpxL lpxL ΔPcrp21::TT araC PBAD crp) construct likewise produced hexa-acylated lipid A at 37°C and was significantly more attenuated than strains harboring each individual mutation. The LD50 of the mutant in mice, when administered subcutaneously or intranasally was >107-times and >104-times greater than wild type, respectively. Mice immunized subcutaneously with a single dose of the mutant were completely protected against a subcutaneous challenge of 3.6 × 107 wild-type Y. pestis and significantly protected (80% survival) against a pulmonary challenge of 1.2 × 104 live cells. Intranasal immunization also provided significant protection against challenges by both routes. This mutant is an immunogenic, highly attenuated live Y. pestis construct that merits further development as a vaccine candidate. PMID:21320544

  3. Perspectives on the diagnosis, epizootiology, and control of the 1973 duck plague epizootic in wild waterfowl at Lake Andes, South Dakota.

    PubMed

    Pearson, G L; Cassidy, D R

    1997-10-01

    An epizootic of duck plague occurred in early 1973 in a population of 163,500 wild waterfowl, primarily mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), wintering on Lake Andes and the nearby Missouri River in southeastern South Dakota (USA). The diagnosis was based on pathologic lesions and confirmed by virus isolation. Control measures included quarantine, attempts to reduce virus contamination of the area, dispersal of waterfowl, and monitoring of wild waterfowl populations for mortality. The epizootic resulted in documented mortality of 18% and estimated mortality of 26% of the waterfowl at risk. Prompt implementation of control measures might have limited mortality to approximately 8%. Losses during the epizootic were equivalent to 0.12% of the annual mortality in the North American 1996 fall population of 80,000,000 wild ducks. The most likely sources of the infection were free-flying wild mallard or American black duck (Anas rubripes) carriers from the upper midwestern or northeastern United States. Duck plague serum neutralization antibodies were demonstrated in 31% of 395 apparently healthy mallards sampled prior to dispersal of the flock at Lake Andes, suggesting that tens of thousands of potential duck plague carriers entered the wild waterfowl populations of all four major flyways. Consequently, the absence of major epizootics of duck plague in wild waterfowl in the subsequent two decades is evidence that substantial numbers of duck plague carriers can occur in wild waterfowl populations without resulting in epizootic mortalities. The failure to isolate duck plague virus from apparently healthy mallards sampled during the epizootic raises questions concerning the validity of conclusions regarding the status of duck plague in wild waterfowl based upon negative results of random surveys conducted in the absence of epizootics. PMID:9391953

  4. [Heidegger and modern research].

    PubMed

    Reiter, A

    1976-01-01

    The unity of thought content and its corresponding object in reality - an unsolved problem till now - is explicated in a gestaltqualitative-neurobiological way. This gives the opportunity of analyzing Heidegger's concepts of truth as "lichtendes Bergen", of "Gestimmtheit" and "Angst", of life and death and "Dasein" in an actualgenetic framework. In opposition to Heidegger's postulation of the non-thinking modern science it results that Heidegger's conceptualization of thought contents is emphasizing primarily the aspects of unity and constancy versus division of unity and complexity by the modern science.

  5. Principles of Modern Soccer.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beim, George

    This book is written to give a better understanding of the principles of modern soccer to coaches and players. In nine chapters the following elements of the game are covered: (1) the development of systems; (2) the principles of attack; (3) the principles of defense; (4) training games; (5) strategies employed in restarts; (6) physical fitness…

  6. Modernizing Mechanical Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rutgers, Norman L.

    Some of the problems of renovating school buildings and in particular the modernization of mechanical services in existing facilities are discussed. According to school management publications, approximately 42 per cent of our elementary and 59 per cent of our secondary schools are 15 years old or older. School plants, which were built 12 to 15…

  7. Modern NMR Spectroscopy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jelinski, Lynn W.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses direct chemical information that can be obtained from modern nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods, concentrating on the types of problems that can be solved. Shows how selected methods provide information about polymers, bipolymers, biochemistry, small organic molecules, inorganic compounds, and compounds oriented in a magnetic…

  8. Modern Regression Discontinuity Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bloom, Howard S.

    2012-01-01

    This article provides a detailed discussion of the theory and practice of modern regression discontinuity (RD) analysis for estimating the effects of interventions or treatments. Part 1 briefly chronicles the history of RD analysis and summarizes its past applications. Part 2 explains how in theory an RD analysis can identify an average effect of…

  9. Medicalized weapons & modern war.

    PubMed

    Gross, Michael L

    2010-01-01

    "Medicalized" weapons--those that rely on advances in neuroscience, physiology, and pharmacology--offer the prospect of reducing casualties and protecting civilians. They could be especially useful in modern asymmetric wars in which conventional states are pitted against guerrilla or insurgent forces. But may physicians and other medical workers participate in their development?

  10. A Modern Periodic Table.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herrenden-Harker, B. D.

    1997-01-01

    Presents a modern Periodic Table based on the electron distribution in the outermost shell and the order of filling of the sublevels within the shells. Enables a student to read off directly the electronic configuration of the element and the order in which filling occurs. (JRH)

  11. Teaching Modern Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, G., Ed.

    Key areas of modern language teaching are addressed in 10 articles. In addition to a general overview of methods and aims of foreign language teaching, attention is directed to the audiolingual and audiovisual revolution, language study for the slow-learning child and for the child with above average ability, imaginative learning activities for…

  12. Modern programming language

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, G. H.; Johnson, J. A.

    1980-01-01

    Structural-programming language is especially-tailored for producing assembly language programs for MODCOMP II and IV mini-computes. Modern programming language consists of set of simple and powerful control structures that include sequencing alternative selection, looping, sub-module linking, comment insertion, statement continuation, and compilation termination capabilities.

  13. Modern splinting bandages.

    PubMed

    Wytch, R; Ashcroft, G P; Ledingham, W M; Wardlaw, D; Ritchie, I K

    1991-01-01

    We have assessed the current range of synthetic splinting bandages, using physical and mechanical tests and the subjective opinions of patients, volunteers and orthopaedic staff. Modern bandages have some better properties than standard plaster bandage but do not conform as well, are more expensive, and potentially more hazardous. PMID:1991785

  14. Modern biotechnology in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qing-Zhao; Zhao, Xue-Ming

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, with the booming economy, the Chinese government has increased its financial input to biotechnology research, which has led to remarkable achievements by China in modern biotechnology. As one of the key parts of modern biotechnology, industrial biotechnology will be crucial for China's sustainable development in this century. This review presents an overview of Chinese industrial biotechnology in last 10 years. Modern biotechnology had been classified into metabolic engineering and systems biology framework. Metabolic engineering is a field of broad fundamental and practical concept so we integrated the related technology achievements into the real practices of many metabolic engineering cases, such as biobased products production, environmental control and others. Now metabolic engineering is developing towards the systems level. Chinese researchers have also embraced this concept and have contributed invaluable things in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and related bioinformatics. A series of advanced laboratories or centers were established which will represent Chinese modern biotechnology development in the near future. At the end of this review, metabolic network research advances have also been mentioned.

  15. Modern Biotechnology in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qing-Zhao; Zhao, Xue-Ming

    In recent years, with the booming economy, the Chinese government has increased its financial input to biotechnology research, which has led to remarkable achievements by China in modern biotechnology. As one of the key parts of modern biotechnology, industrial biotechnology will be crucial for China's sustainable development in this century. This review presents an overview of Chinese industrial biotechnology in last 10 years. Modern biotechnology had been classified into metabolic engineering and systems biology framework. Metabolic engineering is a field of broad fundamental and practical concept so we integrated the related technology achievements into the real practices of many metabolic engineering cases, such as biobased products production, environmental control and others. Now metabolic engineering is developing towards the systems level. Chinese researchers have also embraced this concept and have contributed invaluable things in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and related bioinformatics. A series of advanced laboratories or centers were established which will represent Chinese modern biotechnology development in the near future. At the end of this review, metabolic network research advances have also been mentioned.

  16. Gnotobiology in modern medicine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Podoprigora, G. I.

    1980-01-01

    A review is given of currently accepted theories and applications of gnotobiology. A brief history of gnotobiology is supplied. Problems involved in creating germ-free gnotobiota and the use of these animals in experimental biology are cited. Examples of how gnotobiology is used in modern medical practice illustrate the future prospects for this area of science.

  17. Flea-Associated Bacterial Communities across an Environmental Transect in a Plague-Endemic Region of Uganda.

    PubMed

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Borchert, Jeff; Eisen, Rebecca; MacMillan, Katherine; Boegler, Karen; Gage, Kenneth L

    2015-01-01

    The vast majority of human plague cases currently occur in sub-Saharan Africa. The primary route of transmission of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is via flea bites. Non-pathogenic flea-associated bacteria may interact with Y. pestis within fleas and it is important to understand what factors govern flea-associated bacterial assemblages. Six species of fleas were collected from nine rodent species from ten Ugandan villages between October 2010 and March 2011. A total of 660,345 16S rRNA gene DNA sequences were used to characterize bacterial communities of 332 individual fleas. The DNA sequences were binned into 421 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) based on 97% sequence similarity. We used beta diversity metrics to assess the effects of flea species, flea sex, rodent host species, site (i.e. village), collection date, elevation, mean annual precipitation, average monthly precipitation, and average monthly temperature on bacterial community structure. Flea species had the greatest effect on bacterial community structure with each flea species harboring unique bacterial lineages. The site (i.e. village), rodent host, flea sex, elevation, precipitation, and temperature also significantly affected bacterial community composition. Some bacterial lineages were widespread among flea species (e.g. Bartonella spp. and Wolbachia spp.), but each flea species also harbored unique bacterial lineages. Some of these lineages are not closely related to known bacterial diversity and likely represent newly discovered lineages of insect symbionts. Our finding that flea species has the greatest effect on bacterial community composition may help future investigations between Yersinia pestis and non-pathogenic flea-associated bacteria. Characterizing bacterial communities of fleas during a plague epizootic event in the future would be helpful. PMID:26485147

  18. Flea-Associated Bacterial Communities across an Environmental Transect in a Plague-Endemic Region of Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Borchert, Jeff; Eisen, Rebecca; MacMillan, Katherine; Boegler, Karen; Gage, Kenneth L.

    2015-01-01

    The vast majority of human plague cases currently occur in sub-Saharan Africa. The primary route of transmission of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is via flea bites. Non-pathogenic flea-associated bacteria may interact with Y. pestis within fleas and it is important to understand what factors govern flea-associated bacterial assemblages. Six species of fleas were collected from nine rodent species from ten Ugandan villages between October 2010 and March 2011. A total of 660,345 16S rRNA gene DNA sequences were used to characterize bacterial communities of 332 individual fleas. The DNA sequences were binned into 421 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) based on 97% sequence similarity. We used beta diversity metrics to assess the effects of flea species, flea sex, rodent host species, site (i.e. village), collection date, elevation, mean annual precipitation, average monthly precipitation, and average monthly temperature on bacterial community structure. Flea species had the greatest effect on bacterial community structure with each flea species harboring unique bacterial lineages. The site (i.e. village), rodent host, flea sex, elevation, precipitation, and temperature also significantly affected bacterial community composition. Some bacterial lineages were widespread among flea species (e.g. Bartonella spp. and Wolbachia spp.), but each flea species also harbored unique bacterial lineages. Some of these lineages are not closely related to known bacterial diversity and likely represent newly discovered lineages of insect symbionts. Our finding that flea species has the greatest effect on bacterial community composition may help future investigations between Yersinia pestis and non-pathogenic flea-associated bacteria. Characterizing bacterial communities of fleas during a plague epizootic event in the future would be helpful. PMID:26485147

  19. Assessment of a recombinant F1-V fusion protein vaccine intended to protect Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) from plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolfe, Lisa L.; Shenk, Tanya M.; Powell, Bradford; Rocke, Tonie E.

    2011-01-01

    As part of an ongoing restoration program in Colorado, USA, we evaluated adverse reactions and seroconversion in captive Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) after vaccination with a recombinant F1-V fusion protein vaccine against Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague. Ten adult female lynx received the F1-V vaccine; 10 source- and age-matched lynx remained unvaccinated as controls. All of the vaccinated and control lynx remained apparently healthy throughout the confinement period. We observed no evidence of injection site or systemic reactions to the F1-V vaccine. Among vaccinated lynx, differences in log10 reciprocal antibody titers measured in sera collected before and after vaccination (two doses) ranged from 1.2 to 5.2 for anti-F1 antibodies and from 0.6 to 5.2 for anti-V antibodies; titers in unvaccinated lynx did not change appreciably over the course of confinement prior to release, and thus differences in anti-F1 (P=0.003) and anti-V (P=0.0005) titers were greater among vaccinated lynx than among controls. Although our findings suggest that the F1-V fusion protein vaccine evaluated here is likely to stimulate antibody responses that may help protect Canada lynx from plague, we observed no apparent differences in survival between vaccinated and unvaccinated subject animals. Retrospectively, 22 of 50 (44%; 95% confidence interval 29–59%) unvaccinated lynx captured or recaptured in Colorado during 2000–08 had passive hemagglutination antibody titers >1:16, consistent with exposure to Y. pestis; paired pre- and postrelease titers available for eight of these animals showed titer increases similar in magnitude to those seen in response to vaccination, suggesting at least some lynx may naturally acquire immunity to plague in Colorado habitats.

  20. Assessment of a recombinant F1-V fusion protein vaccine intended to protect Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) from plague.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Lisa L; Shenk, Tanya M; Powell, Bradford; Rocke, Tonie E

    2011-10-01

    As part of an ongoing restoration program in Colorado, USA, we evaluated adverse reactions and seroconversion in captive Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) after vaccination with a recombinant F1-V fusion protein vaccine against Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague. Ten adult female lynx received the F1-V vaccine; 10 source- and age-matched lynx remained unvaccinated as controls. All of the vaccinated and control lynx remained apparently healthy throughout the confinement period. We observed no evidence of injection site or systemic reactions to the F1-V vaccine. Among vaccinated lynx, differences in log(10) reciprocal antibody titers measured in sera collected before and after vaccination (two doses) ranged from 1.2 to 5.2 for anti-F1 antibodies and from 0.6 to 5.2 for anti-V antibodies; titers in unvaccinated lynx did not change appreciably over the course of confinement prior to release, and thus differences in anti-F1 (P=0.003) and anti-V (P=0.0005) titers were greater among vaccinated lynx than among controls. Although our findings suggest that the F1-V fusion protein vaccine evaluated here is likely to stimulate antibody responses that may help protect Canada lynx from plague, we observed no apparent differences in survival between vaccinated and unvaccinated subject animals. Retrospectively, 22 of 50 (44%; 95% confidence interval 29-59%) unvaccinated lynx captured or recaptured in Colorado during 2000-08 had passive hemagglutination antibody titers >1:16, consistent with exposure to Y. pestis; paired pre- and postrelease titers available for eight of these animals showed titer increases similar in magnitude to those seen in response to vaccination, suggesting at least some lynx may naturally acquire immunity to plague in Colorado habitats.