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© Marie-Christine Prévost, Anne Derbise
Bactéries Yersinia pestis en microscopie electronique à balayage.
Publication : Comptes rendus biologies

[The plague]

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Comptes rendus biologies - 01 Aug 2002

Carniel E

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12391896

C. R. Biol. 2002 Aug;325(8):851-3; discussion 879-83

The plague has been one of the most devastating diseases of human history. Despite major advances in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, it has not been possible to eradicate this infection. Plague is still active in Africa, in Asia and in the Americas, and is classified as a currently re-emerging disease. The plague is mainly a disease of rodents, which is transmitted by fleabites. Humans develop two main clinical forms: bubonic plague (following bites of infected fleas, lethal in 50-70% of the cases in less than a week if an appropriate treatment is not started rapidly), and pneumonic plague (after inhalation of infected droplets, lethal in less than three days in 100% of cases without immediate treatment). Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague, is usually sensitive to most antibiotics, but the first multi-resistant strain was recently described. No efficient and safe vaccines are currently available. The plague bacillus is one of the few organisms that could be used for biological warfare.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12391896