Plague dynamics are driven by climate variation

Stenseth, N, Samian, N, Viljugrein, H, Kausrud, K, Begon, M, Davis, S, Leirs, H, Dubyanskiy, V, Esper, J, Ageyev, V, Klassovskiy, N, Pole, S and Chan, K 2006, 'Plague dynamics are driven by climate variation', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 103, no. 35, pp. 13110-13115.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Plague dynamics are driven by climate variation
Author(s) Stenseth, N
Samian, N
Viljugrein, H
Kausrud, K
Begon, M
Davis, S
Leirs, H
Dubyanskiy, V
Esper, J
Ageyev, V
Klassovskiy, N
Pole, S
Chan, K
Year 2006
Journal name Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume number 103
Issue number 35
Start page 13110
End page 13115
Total pages 6
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Abstract The bacterium Yersinia pestis causes bubonic plague. In Central Asia, where human plague is still reported regularly, the bacterium is common in natural populations of great gerbils. By using field data from 1949-1995 and previously undescribed statistical techniques, we show that Y. pestis prevalence in gerbils increases with warmer springs and wetter summers: A VC increase in spring is predicted to lead to a > 50% increase in prevalence. Climatic conditions favoring plague apparently existed in this region at the onset of the Black Death as well as when the most recent plague pandemic arose in the same region, and they are expected to continue or become more favorable as a result of climate change. Threats of outbreaks may thus be increasing where humans live in close contact with rodents and fleas (or other wildlife) harboring endemic plague.
Keyword(s) Generalized Threshold Mixed Model
Historic and recent climatic conditions
Time-series data
Yersinia pestis
DOI - identifier 10.1073/pnas.0602447103
Copyright notice © 2006 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
ISSN 0027-8424
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