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Isolation of Yersinia pestis in plague foci of Northeast Brazil from 1966 to 1982

From 1966 to 1982, 861 strains of Yersinia pestis were isolated from plague foci in Northeastern Brazil. The source of these isolates were: 471 rodents, 236 pools of fleas, 2 pools of Ornithodorus and 152 humans beings. Zygodontomys lasiurus pixuna was the rodent specie that produced mostly of the isolates as well as mostly of the infected pools of fleas mainly of the Polygenis species. The infected samples were originated from municipalities of Pernambuco (13) Ceará (7) ParaíbaIII PiauíI and BahiaI States. This geographic distribution shows that plague remains a health problem in Brazil and deserves attention. The bigger numbers of isolates and affected areas in Pernambuco State does not necessarily indicates a higher infection incidence in such State but results from a more intense surveillance and skilled Laboratories for plague diagnosis.

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