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Plague is a flea-borne rodent-associated zoonotic disease that is caused by Yersinia pestis and characterized by long quiescent periods punctuated by rapidly spreading epidemics and epizootics. How plague bacteria persist during inter-epizootic periods is poorly understood, yet is important for predicting when and where epizootics are likely to occur and(More)
Chimeric viruses constructed between a highly pathogenic Feline Immunodeficiency Virus isolate (FIV-C36) and a less pathogenic but neurotropic strain (FIV-PPR) have been used to map viral genetic determinants of in vivo pathogenicity. Chimeric virus FIV-PCenv, which contains FIV-C36 genome from the 3' region of pol to upstream of the 3'LTR on an FIV-PPR(More)
Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.) and Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse) transmit arboviruses that are increasing threats to human health in the Americas, particularly dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. Epidemics of the associated arboviral diseases have been limited to South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean in the Western Hemisphere, with(More)
Plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, is characterized by quiescent periods punctuated by rapidly spreading epizootics. The classical 'blocked flea' paradigm, by which a blockage forms in the flea's proventriculus on average 1-2 weeks post-infection (p.i.), forces starving fleas to take multiple blood meals, thus increasing opportunities for transmission.(More)
Plague, an often-fatal zoonotic disease caused by Yersinia pestis, is characterized by epizootic and quiescent periods. How Y. pestis is maintained during inter-epizootic periods is poorly understood, but soil has been implicated as a potential reservoir. Although previous studies have suggested that Y. pestis is able to survive in soil for weeks or months,(More)
The distribution of human plague risk is strongly associated with rainfall in the tropical plague foci of East Africa, but little is known about how the plague bacterium is maintained during periods between outbreaks or whether environmental drivers trigger these outbreaks. We collected small mammals and fleas over a two year period in the West Nile region(More)
Plague is an often fatal, primarily flea-borne rodent-associated zoonosis caused by Yersinia pestis. We sought to identify risk factors for plague by comparing villages with and without a history of human plague cases within a model-defined plague focus in the West Nile Region of Uganda. Although rat (Rattus rattus) abundance was similar inside huts within(More)
Programs that aim to control vector-borne zoonotic diseases require information on zoonotic hosts and on the feeding behavior of bridging vectors that are capable of transmitting pathogens from those hosts to humans. Here we describe an assay developed to identify bloodmeals in field-collected cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis Bouché) to assess this species'(More)
Unblocked fleas can transmit Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, shortly (≤4 d) after taking an infectious bloodmeal. Investigators have measured so-called early-phase transmission (EPT) efficiency in various fleas following infection with highly bacteremic blood (≥108 cfu/ml). To date, no one has determined the lower limit of bacteremia(More)