Archive for June 29, 2017

Epidemiology of human plague in the United States, 1900-2012.

Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jan;21(1):16-22.

Kugeler KJ, Staples JE, Hinckley AF, Gage KL, Mead PS.


We summarize the characteristics of 1,006 cases of human plague occurring in the United States over 113 years, beginning with the first documented case in 1900.

Three distinct eras can be identified on the basis of the frequency, nature, and geographic distribution of cases. During 1900-1925, outbreaks were common but were restricted to populous port cities.

During 1926-1964, the geographic range of disease expanded rapidly, while the total number of reported cases fell. During 1965-2012, sporadic cases occurred annually, primarily in the rural Southwest.

Clinical and demographic features of human illness have shifted over time as the disease has moved from crowded cities to the rural West.

These shifts reflect changes in the populations at risk, the advent of antibiotics, and improved detection of more clinically indistinct forms of infection.

Overall, the emergence of human plague in the United States parallels observed patterns of introduction of exotic plants and animals.



June 29, 2017 at 8:17 am

Gentamicin and tetracyclines for the treatment of human plague: review of 75 cases in new Mexico, 1985-1999.

Clin Infect Dis. MARCH 2004 Mar 1;38(5):663-9.

Boulanger LL1, Ettestad P, Fogarty JD, Dennis DT, Romig D, Mertz G.

Author information

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.


Streptomycin, an antimicrobial with limited availability, is the treatment of choice for plague, a fulminating and potentially epidemic disease that poses a bioterrorism concern. We evaluated the efficacy of gentamicin and tetracyclines for treating human plague. A medical record review was conducted on all 75 patients with plague who were reported in New Mexico during 1985-1999. Fifty patients were included in an analysis that compared streptomycin-treated patients (n=14) with those treated with gentamicin and/or a tetracycline (n=36). The mean numbers of fever days, hospital days, and complications and the number of deaths did not differ between patients treated with streptomycin and those treated with gentamicin. One patient who received tetracycline alone experienced a serious complication. Gentamicin alone or in combination with a tetracycline was as efficacious as streptomycin for treating human plague. The efficacy of a tetracycline alone could not be determined from the study.


June 29, 2017 at 8:15 am


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