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Volume 17, Number 5—May 2011

CME ACTIVITY - Synopsis

Lessons Learned about Pneumonic Plague Diagnosis from 2 Outbreaks, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Eric BertheratComments to Author , Philippe Thullier, Jean Christophe Shako, Kathleen England, Mamadou-Lamine Koné, Lorraine Arntzen, Herbert Tomaso, Louis Koyange, Pierre Formenty, Florent Ekwanzala, Rosa Crestani, Isa Ciglenecki, and Lila Rahalison
Author affiliations: Author affiliations: World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (E. Bertherat, P. Formenty); Centre de Recherche du Service de Santé des Armées, Grenoble, France (P. Thullier); Plague Reference Laboratory, Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (J.C. Shako); National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA (K. England); World Health Organization, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo (M.-L. Koné); National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa (L. Arntzen); Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Munich, Germany (H. Tomaso); Institut National de la Recherche Biomédicale, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (L. Koyange); World Health Organization, Kinshasa (F. Ekwanzala); Médecins Sans Frontière, Bruxelles, Belgium (R. Crestani); Médecins sans Frontières, Geneva (I. Ciglenecki); Institut Pasteur, Antananarivo, Madagascar (L. Rahalison)

Main Article

Table

Laboratory results for 87 and 117 suspected cases of pneumonic plague during outbreaks in 2005 and 2006, respectively, Democratic Republic of Congo*

Location, year No. cases for which samples were collected from patients No. positive samples/no. tested (% positive)
RDT Microscopy Yersinia pestis isolation DFA PCR IgG
Zobia, 2005†
Acute, 44 17/35 (48.6) 31/44 (70.4) 0/44 6/43 (13.9) 2/42 (4.8) 7/18 (3.9)
Paired samples, 6 1/2 (50) 1/2 (50) NA 0/2 0/2 6//12 (50.0)
Convalescent, 37
NA
NA
NA
NA
NA
12/37 (3.2)
Bole, 2006‡ Acute, 98 23/96 (24.0) 38/67 (56.7) 4/96 (4.2) NA NA 2/89 (2.2)
Convalescent, 19 NA NA NA NA NA 0/19 (0)

*RDT, rapid diagnostic test; DFA, direct fluorescent antibody test; PCR, real-time PCR; Ig, immunoglobulin; NA, not applicable.
†Of 130 cases identified, samples were collected from 87 patients.
‡Of 162 cases identified, samples were collected from 117 patients.

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