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Author Topic: Multidrug resistant plague emerges in Africa  (Read 2073 times)


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Multidrug resistant plague emerges in Africa
« on: March 22, 2007, 08:34:51 am »

Antibiotic Resistance in Plague

The ability to resist many of the antibiotics used against plague has been found so far in only a single case of the disease in Madagascar. But because the same ability is present in other kinds of bacteria from a broad range of livestock, antibiotic resistance could potentially spread to other Y. pestis and also other bacterial pathogens. In a paper published March 21 in the new journal PLoS ONE, the authors say this possibility "represents a significant public health concern."

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Re: Multidrug resistant plague emerges in Africa
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 09:14:28 am »

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.  Don't know if it's the same 'plague' referenced in the article, but bubonic plague is fairly common in the prairie dog colonies in the southwest.  Not really a booga booga, but something to be aware of.
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Re: Multidrug resistant plague emerges in Africa
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 12:03:06 pm »

Yes, it is the same organism, Yersinia pestis, and it is also endemic in chipmunks in the southwest.  It is transmitted by an infected flea vector to humans, and then can be transmitted from human to human by droplet transmission (coughing) if the disease is in the bloodstream or lung.  Usually it is only found in wild rodents but epidemic plague in the Middle Ages was spread by rats and mice in the cities (explains why having a house cat was beneficial) which is another reason to spread out into the rural areas, and not to get too close to the cute chipmunks and prairie dogs.  The multi-drug resistant plague is really scary, because prompt antibiotic treatment (granted, with drugs that are not innocuous themselves) used to decrease mortality to  less than 5%.
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