A severe illness caused by the Gram negative rod, Yersinia pestis. The reservoirs for the infection are various species of rodent and the bacteria are transmitted through the bite of the rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis. Patients present with enlarged lymph glands (‘buboes’) often in the groin or armpit. Can become septicaemic or develop into a pneumo nia (‘Pneumonic Plague’) and spread by droplet. Also known in the past as “The Black Death”.
Article Categories:Dictionary of Tropical Medicine