[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
Mechanism study on a plague outbreak driven by the construction of a large reservoir in southwest china (surveillance from 2000-2015)
Xin Wang , Xiaoyu Wei , Zhizhong Song , Mingliu Wang , Jinxiao Xi , Junrong Liang, Yun Liang, Ran Duan, Kecheng Tian, Yong Zhao, Guangpeng Tang, Lv You, Guirong Yang, [ … ], Huaiqi Jing
Published: March 3, 2017 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005425 / This is an uncorrected proof.
Plague, a Yersinia pestis infection, is a fatal disease with tremendous transmission capacity. However, the mechanism of how the pathogen stays in a reservoir, circulates and then re-emerges is an enigma.
We studied a plague outbreak caused by the construction of a large reservoir in southwest China followed 16-years’ surveillance.
The results show the prevalence of plague within the natural plague focus is closely related to the stability of local ecology. Before and during the decade of construction the reservoir on the Nanpan River, no confirmed plague has ever emerged. With the impoundment of reservoir and destruction of drowned farmland and vegetation, the infected rodent population previously dispersed was concentrated together in a flood-free area and turned a rest focus alive. Human plague broke out after the enzootic plague via the flea bite. With the construction completed and ecology gradually of human residential environment, animal population and type of vegetation settling down to a new balance, the natural plague foci returned to a rest period. With the rodent density decreased as some of them died, the flea density increased as the rodents lived near or in local farm houses where had more domestic animals, and human has a more concentrated population. In contrast, in the Himalayan marmot foci of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the Qilian Mountains. There are few human inhabitants and the local ecology is relatively stable; plague is prevalence, showing no rest period. Thus the plague can be significantly affected by ecological shifts.
Plague in China is shown to be in 12 kinds of natural foci with a large scale geographic and complex structure. Each plague focus has a unique ecological environment, specific geographic regions, landscape characteristics and specific hosts and vectors for the maintenance and transmission of Y. pestis. Once the environment alters, the amount and density of hosts and vectors change and so does the survival of Y. pestis. Consequently, a rest or slightly active foci can com alive, rapidly cause plague among animals and/or humans and then disappear for long periods of time. A plague outbreak among animals and humans caused by the construction of a large reservoir in southwest China is reported in this study. The reservoir was located on the border between Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the Guangxi Hills on the Nanpan River, and the reservoir was not previously believed to contain the plague.
Citation: Wang X, Wei X, Song Z, Wang M, Xi J, Liang J, et al. (2017) Mechanism study on a plague outbreak driven by the construction of a large reservoir in southwest china (surveillance from 2000-2015). PLoS Negl Trop Dis 11(3): e0005425. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005425
Editor: Joseph M. Vinetz, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, UNITED STATES
Received: September 16, 2016; Accepted: February 21, 2017; Published: March 3, 2017
Copyright: © 2017 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.
Funding: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (General Project, no. 81470092) and the National Sci-Tech Key Project (2012ZX10004201, 2013ZX10004203-002). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: China; Plague; Yersinia Pestis; Guangxi.