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Plague Infections in Tajikistan


Investigation of Epizootological State of Natural Plague Pestholes and Prevention Measures for Plague Infections among Population of the Republic of Tajikistan

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Weaver L M

Leading Institute
Republican Center for Quarantine Infections' Prevention of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Tajikistan, Tajikistan, Dushanbe


  • University of Texas / Medical Branch, USA, TX, Galveston

Project summary

The purpose of the project is investigation of epidemiological and epizotological state of natural plague pestholes.
Plague epidemic had place in 1898 in the territory of Northern Tajikistan. Plague pathogenic organism was extracted from rodents and fleas for the first time in 1970 in canyons of Hisor mountain range. According to data of carried investigations, seven species of mammals and 14 species of fleas and ticks were involved in epizootic process. Rodents with antibodies to plague microbe fraction I were discovered later on in a number of districts of Tajikistan during epizootological investigation. Increase of number of mining industry workers, geological and other expeditions can be seen because of active development of natural resources in mountain regions of Tajikistan. Their field work is carried out close to rodent colonies. Tourist and alpinist routes pass through epizootic regions. Population, which cultivate ground, store hay and pasture cattle in the area close to pesthole zone, lives in enzootic zone.
The above-mentioned proves that there is a high risk of plague infection in natural pestholes for people. In this connection, there is a need for continuous epidemiological monitoring of population and continuous control of epizootological state in pestholes.
As during the last 14 years investigations on epizootological situation in potential natural plague pestholes were not carried out in the Republic, there is no data about real epizootological situation in the mentioned regions. Implementation of the project will allow obtaining of up-to-date data in this field.
We shall study epizootological conditions of the monitoring territories; presence of plague bearer rodents and plague carriers (fleas) in nature and their specific structure. It is important to establish pesthole's regularities and to determine its territorial borders and periodicity of occurring epizooties.
Obtained data will allow planning of anti-epidemic and prophylactic measures, adoption of appropriate measures for infection warning of people living in the mentioned regions.
Field works of experts on especially dangerous infections will promote:
· Development of measures on early detection of infected people or people, suspicious for plague infection, development of measures for non-spreading of the disease among the population;
· Improving quality control of medical prophylactic measures.
Knowledge of epidemiological and epizootological situation in different regions of the Republic of Tajikistan will allow decoding and differentiation of timely artificial infection from microbes of natural pestholes in the cases of using artificial pathogenic organism of particularly dangerous diseases.
Project implementation is very important for meeting ISTC goals and objectives, particularly, for reorientation of weapon scientists and their involvement in the process of integration in the international scientific community.
In order to achieve the set goals it is necessary to solve the following tasks:
1. To investigate epidemiological and epizootological states of natural pestholes;
2. To determine species composition of rodents – plague barriers and fleas – plague carriers in nature;
3. To determine the regularity of a pesthole and determine its territorial zone;
4. To obtain contemporary data for decoding and differentiation of people's artificial infection from natural pestholes diseases.
We plan to carry out the following works with foreign collaborator:

· Specification and coordination of work methods and workplan;
· Information exchange in work process;
· Providing comments to technical reports (quarterly, annual, final and etc.) to be sent to ISTC;
· Concordance of investigation and elaboration results;
· Holding joint symposia and seminars.
During project implementation will be used bacteriological, serologic, and biological methods.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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