ISSN 2398-2950      

Yersinia pestis

ffelis

Synonym(s): Y. pestis, plague bacillus


Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Family: Enterobacteriaceae.
  • Genus: Yersinia.
  • Species: pestis.

Etymology

  • Yersin - Swiss-born French bacteriologist.
  • L: pestis - plague or contagious disease.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Reservoir: tolerant rodents in endemic areas.

Transmission

  • By infected fleas: inhabits proximal digestive tract of flea and proliferates until blocks proventriculus.
  • By ingestion of infected rodents.
  • Rarely, by inhalation of sputum from pneumonic plague case.

Pathological effects

  • Specific resistance involves both humoral and cell-mediated responses.
  • Outer membrane proteins (Fraction 1) stimulate opsonin formation.
  • Activated macrophages destroy intracellular organisms.
  • Strong but temporary immunity follows recovery.
  • Antiphagocytic virulence factors (plasmid-encoded V and W factors) lead to bacteremia.
  • Fraction 1 induces high antibody titers.
  • Cats more susceptible than dogs. Dogs develop only mild clinical signs including fever and enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Cats infected when bitten by infected fleas or ingesting infected rodents.
  • Incubation period 1-2 days.
  • After ingestion, bacteria replicate in oral cavity   →   spread to tonsils and regional lymph nodes   →   bacteremia   →   localization in lungs, liver and spleen in necrotic foci containing bacterial colonies.
  • Virulence factors:
    • Antiphagocytic outer membrane proteins (Fraction 1 and plasmid-encoded V and W factors).
    • Plasmid-encoded exotoxin.
    • Endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide).
    • Plasmid-encoded bacteriocin, coagulase and fibrinolysin.
    • Purine synthesis.
  • Bubonic form: suppurative lymphadenitis.
  • Pneumonic form (20% of cases).
  • Both forms may coexist in same cat.
  • Usually acute form terminating in death in 4-6 days if untreated.
  • Occasional chronic form.

Other Host Effects

  • Reservoir hosts (maintenance or enzootic hosts): tolerant rodents, eg mice, chipmunks, gerbils, and prairie dogs.

Control

Control via animal

  • If plague suspected in cats, strict controls enforced by the Center for Disease Control in the United States.
  • Cats should be isolated, handled wearing protective clothing and treated for fleas.
    Plague in cats may be an important source of infection for humans.

Control via chemotherapies

  • Streptomycin Streptomycin.
  • Chloramphenicol Chloramphenicol.
  • Tetracycline Tetracycline - primarily for bubonic form.
  • Treat for a minimum of 21 days.
    Do not wait for confirmation before starting antimicrobial therapy.

Control via environment

  • Keep cats away from potentially infected rodents.
    Remember - it is zoonotic! Gloves, gowns; isolation of affected animals.
  • Treat fleas on cats.

Vaccination

  • None available for cats.
  • Transient protection of humans can be obtained using bacterins.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Pennisi M G, Egberink H, Hartmann K et al (2013) Yersinia pestis infection in cats: ABCD guidelines on prevention and management. J Feline Med Surg 15 (7), 582-584 PubMed.
  • Eidson M, Thilsted J P & Rollag O J (1991) Clinical, clinicopathologic, and pathologic features of plague in cats: 119 cases (1977-1988)​. JAVMA 199 (9), 1191-1197 PubMed.
  • Kaufmann A F, Mann J M, Gardiner T M et al (1981) Public health implications of plague in domestic cats. JAVMA 179 (9), 875-878 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Macy D (2006) Plague. In: Infectious diseases of the Dog and Cat. Greene C (ed). 3rd edn. Elsevier, Inc.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!

 
 
 
 

To show you are not a Bot please can you enter the number showing adjacent to this field

 Security code