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Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2014 Dec;37(12):441-8; quiz 449.

[Yersinia pestis and plague - an update].

[Article in German]

Abstract

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.

PMID:
25643450
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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