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Matt Cowper Katie Pazur

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1 Matt Cowper Katie Pazur
The Plague Y. pestis Matt Cowper Katie Pazur

2 Yersinia pestis Yersinia originally classified in Pasteurellaceae family Based on DNA similarities with E. coli, Y. pestis is now part of Enterobacteriaceae family 11 named species in genus  3 are human pathogens Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, Y. enterocolitica Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis rarely infect humans Y. enterocolitica is the cause of 1 – 3% of diarrhea cases caused by bacteria

3 Yersinia pestis Gram-negative bacteria Can grow with or without oxygen
Most commonly found in rats but also found in: Mice, squirrels, fleas, cats, dogs, lice, prairie dogs, wood rats, chipmunks

4 Types of Plague Bubonic Plague Pneumonic Plague Septicemic Plague
Most common Infection of the lymph system (attacks immune system) Pneumonic Plague Most serious type of plague Infection of the lungs leading to pneumonia Primary and Secondary Septicemic Plague Bacteria reproduces in the blood Can be contracted like bubonic plague but is most often seen as a complication of untreated bubonic or pneumonic plague Pneumonic – primary: contracted when infected droplets are directly inhaled. This can be passed from person to person. Secondary: develops when bubonic or septicemic goes untreated  moves to lungs and then can be spread to someone else.

5 Diagnosis and Treatment Symptoms
Most cases of plague are diagnosed initially from presented symptoms, especially Bubonic plague. If plague is suspected, blood work is completed to determine how far the plague has progressed and to determine antibiotic resistances. Since no major antibiotic resistances have developed, plague is usually treated with Streptomycin. Other antibiotics that can be used are: tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones and other aminoglycosides. Antibiotics are administered to the patient as well as to those who are believed to have been exposed. Symptoms Bubonic Fever, headache, chills, weakness, swollen and tender lymph glands Pneumonic Fever, headache, weakness, rapid onset of pneumonia (usually accompanied by: shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, bloody or watery sputum) Septicemic Fever, chills, weakness, abdominal pain, shock, bleeding underneath skin or other organs Lymph glands are called buboes, hence the name bubonic

6 http://rarediseases. about

7 Transmission Bubonic and Septicemic can not be transferred human to human. They can only be contracted if bitten by an infected rodent or flea. Pneumonic can be transferred through exposure to infected particles. This usually occurs when in close contact with someone who is infected and is exposed to sputum that is coughed up.


9 History There have been three major pandemics of the plague.
Mid 6th century, mid 14th century, early 20th century The most well known plague pandemic was in the mid 14th century in Europe known as the Black Death The plague came from Asia and spread through Europe in two years. In the two years, it killed more than half of the population. People didn’t understand how the plague worked which allowed it to spread . Benefits.

10 Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora

11 Incidence Considered a re-emerging disease.
Incidence is on the rise: 2,000 to 3,000 cases a year worldwide.

12 Current Research at UNC
While the plague isn’t causing major problems amongst humans and it is easily treatable, scientists are beginning to consider its potential use as a bioweapon. Here at UNC, Dr. William Goldman is studying the mechanisms of plague. Using a mouse model, they are studying the progression of Pneumonic Plague and are working on determining how to slow its progression so it can be more effectively treated.

13 To Review: The Plague Rap


15 Works Referenced "CDC Plague Home Page - CDC Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control, June Web. 14 Apr <>. Crawford, Dorothy H. Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History. Oxford: Oxford UP, Print. Dell, Helen. "Microbiology: Perspectives on Plague." Nature Dec. 2005: 926. Web. 12 Apr Dunham, Will. "Scientists Find Potential Weakness in Plague Germ." abc News 26 Jan Web. 12 Apr History Channel. "History Channel - The Plague." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 21 Nov Web. 3 Apr <>. "Yersinia Pestis." Plague Home Page. Web. 4 Apr <>.

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