Spatial analysis and identification of high risk plague regions in Pakistan based on associated rodent species distribution

  • Madiha Shabbir COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Maha Aleem COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Sundus Javed COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • David M Wagner Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, United States
  • Paul S Keim Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, United States
  • Syed Ali Musstjab Akbar Shah Eqani COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Habib Bokhari COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
Keywords: Pakistan, plague, pandemic, rodents, prevalence, Yersinia pestis

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Madiha Shabbir, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
Department of Biosciences
Maha Aleem, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
Department of Biosciences
Sundus Javed, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan

Assistant Professor

Department of Biosciences

Syed Ali Musstjab Akbar Shah Eqani, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
Department of Biosciences
Habib Bokhari, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
Department of Biosciences
Published
2016-08-02
How to Cite
1.
Shabbir M, Aleem M, Javed S, Wagner D, Keim P, Eqani SAM, Bokhari H (2016) Spatial analysis and identification of high risk plague regions in Pakistan based on associated rodent species distribution. J Infect Dev Ctries 10:687-693. doi: https://doi.org/10.3855/jidc.7091
Section
Regional Reviews