Spatial analysis and identification of high risk plague regions in Pakistan based on associated rodent species distribution
Plague, caused by Yersinia pestitis, is an infectious bacterial disease that has a high fatality rate if untreated. Rodents are plague reservoirs and play an important role in disease spread. Plague cases have been reported extensively since the second pandemic from the 14th century in countries sharing borders with Pakistan, such as China and India, as well as nearby countries including Russia and central Asia. Despite being centrally located in a plague-infested geographical zone, there has been no plague incidence reported from Pakistan. This study aims to pinpoint some of the potentially important aspects of the disease, which have to be considered when assessing potential risk associated with a plague outbreak in Pakistan. In this context, the occurrence and distribution of plague-associated rodent reservoirs in different regions of Pakistan in relation to those found in the neighboring countries were mapped. In addition, the climatic factors that may also influence disease spread by affecting the growth of the bacteria are also discussed. The combined epidemiological and ecological surveillance studies suggest a prevalence of several potential rodent carriers in certain districts with the possibility of a plague outbreak in Pakistan.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).