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

Noelle I. Samia et al. in PNAS

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

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.

30 August 2011, 108:14527-14532 DOI:

Tags: PNAS;
Published Nov. 26, 2012 3:19 PM - Last modified Jan. 23, 2013 11:17 AM