Show Summary Details
Page of


Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 December 2020

Yersinia pestis is a Gram-negative coccobacillus which is transmitted from rodents to humans, usually by flea bites. Over a few days, infection from a flea bite migrates to a regional lymph node which swells to cause a bubo, i.e. bubonic plague. Untreated, bubonic plague has a mortality rate of up to 50%. Pneumonic plague occurs when a human breathes in the bacilli from a heavily infected host (human or animal); without treatment, all cases are fatal. Around the world, there are still more than 20 000 cases of plague per year, often in countries where health systems have suffered due to war and civil unrest. Yersinia pestis can be effectively treated with gentamicin or doxycycline; safe and effective vaccines are in development.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.