Plague Research - Bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, Infection, Types, Treatment

Plague Research Today is a free monthly online journal that collates and summarizes the latest research about Plague, including details on bubonic plague, yersinia pestis, infection, types, treatment.


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Human plague in the southwestern United States, 1957-2004: spatial models of elevated risk of human exposure to Yersinia pestis.

Eisen RJ, Enscore RE, Biggerstaff BJ, Reynolds PJ, Ettestad P, Brown T, Pape J, Tanda D, Levy CE, Engelthaler DM, Cheek J, Bueno R, Targhetta J, Montenieri JA, Gage KL

Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, P.O. Box 2087, Fort Collins, CO 80522, USA. dyn2@cdc.gov

Plague is a rare but highly virulent flea-borne zoonotic disease caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis Yersin. Identifying areas at high risk of human exposure to the etiological agent of plague could provide a useful tool for targeting limited public health resources and reduce the likelihood of misdiagnosis by raising awareness of the disease. We created logistic regression models to identify landscape features associated with areas where humans have acquired plague from 1957 to 2004 in the four-corners region of the United States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), and we extrapolated those models within a geographical information system to predict where plague cases are likely to occur within the southwestern United States disease focus. The probability of an area being classified as high-risk plague habitat increased with elevation up to approximately 2300 m and declined as elevation increased thereafter, and declined with distance from key habitat types (e.g., southern Rocky Mountain piñon--juniper [Pinus edulis Engelm. and Juniperus spp.], Colorado plateau piñon--juniper woodland, Rocky Mountain ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa P.& C. Lawson var. scopulorum), and southern Rocky Mountain juniper woodland and savanna). The overall accuracy of the model was >82%. Our most conservative model predicted that 14.4% of the four-corners region represented a high risk of peridomestic exposure to Y. pestis.

Published 5 June 2007 in J Med Entomol, 44(3): 530-7.

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