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Plague is a severe bacterial infection caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Yersinia pestis.
ORPHA:707Classification level: Disorder
- Prevalence: Unknown
- Inheritance: -
- Age of onset: All ages
- ICD-10: A20.0 A20.1 A20.2 A20.3 A20.7 A20.8 A20.9
- OMIM: -
- UMLS: C0032064 C0043407
- MeSH: D010930 D015009
- GARD: -
- MedDRA: 10035148 10061416
It is extremely rare in Europe but still spreads in Africa and, to a lesser degree, in Asia and Latin America.
There are two clinical forms of the disease: bubonic plague, characterized by painfully inflamed lymph nodes called "buboes'', an elevated temperature and an altered clinical state; and pulmonary plague which manifests itself as thoracic pain, a cough with bloody expectoration, an elevated temperature, an altered clinical state and consciousness disorders.
Plague is transmitted from animals to humans by fleas. Rodents are the reservoir for the disease. Plague is also transmitted between humans via the respiratory route.
Diagnosis is based on isolation of the bacterium in the bubo, blood or expectoration, or from serology.
Management and treatment
Many classes of antibiotics are effective against Yersinia pestis (aminoglycosides, tetracyclines, cotrimoxazole, rifampicin, fluoroquinolones etc.).
Without treatment, the course of the disease is rapidly fatal.