African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5211

Short Communication

Seroprevalence of Yersinia pestis in dogs and small rodents in one hyperendemic plague focus of Democratic Republic of Congo

Bernard Davoust1*, Georges Diatta2, Jean-Christophe Shako3, Minoarisa Rajerison4, Aaron Aruna Abedi5, Stomy Karhemere6, Renaud Piarroux7 and Didier Raoult1
1Research Unit of Emerging Infectious and Tropical Diseases (URMITE) UMR‐CNRS 7278‐IRD 198, Marseille, France. 2Research Unit of Emerging Infectious and Tropical Diseases (URMITE) UMR‐CNRS 7278‐IRD 198, Institute of Research for the Development, Dakar, Senegal. 3Plague Reference Laboratory, Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo. 4Pasteur Institute of Madagascar, Plague Unit, WHO Collaborating Centre, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 5Ministry of Health, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. 6National Institute of Biomedical Research, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. 7Laboratory of Parasitology and Mycology, La Timone University Hospital, Marseille, France.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 19 December 2012
  •  Published: 16 April 2013


Plague is endemic in Ituri of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In order to evaluate the role of commensal rodents and domestic dogs in the spread of the disease, we studied the seroprevalence at Rethy. Results showed that the 27/28 small rodents were seronegative (using immunoglobulin G anti-F1 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), but one of them, Nile rat was positive. These rodents serve as intermediaries, spreading the disease to domiciliary black rats. Of the 11 dogs tested by ELISA, 4 were seropositive (36%). Our results confirm that the serological prevalence in dogs is a reliable marker for the surveillance of plague.


Key words:  Plague, Yersinia pestis, dog, Democratic Republic of Congo, seroprevalence