Spatial analysis and identification of high risk plague regions in Pakistan based on associated rodent species distribution

Madiha Shabbir, Maha Aleem, Sundus Javed, David M. Wagner, Paul S. Keim, Syed Ali Musstjab Akbar Shah Eqani, Habib Bokhari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Plague, caused by Yersinia pestitis, is an infectious bacterial disease that has a high fatality rate if untreated. Rodents are plague reservoirs and play an important role in disease spread. Plague cases have been reported extensively since the second pandemic from the 14th century in countries sharing borders with Pakistan, such as China and India, as well as nearby countries including Russia and central Asia. Despite being centrally located in a plague-infested geographical zone, there has been no plague incidence reported from Pakistan. This study aims to pinpoint some of the potentially important aspects of the disease, which have to be considered when assessing potential risk associated with a plague outbreak in Pakistan. In this context, the occurrence and distribution of plague-associated rodent reservoirs in different regions of Pakistan in relation to those found in the neighboring countries were mapped. In addition, the climatic factors that may also influence disease spread by affecting the growth of the bacteria are also discussed. The combined epidemiological and ecological surveillance studies suggest a prevalence of several potential rodent carriers in certain districts with the possibility of a plague outbreak in Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-693
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection in Developing Countries
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Pakistan
  • Pandemic
  • Plague
  • Prevalence
  • Rodents
  • Yersinia pestis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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