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Surveillance System of Yersiniosis in Georgia


Improvement of Epidemiological Surveillance System of Yersiniosis. Investigation, Monitoring and Molecular Characterization of Natural Foci of Yersinia (Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, Y. enterocolitica) in Georgia

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-DIV/Biodiversity/Biotechnology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
National Center for Diseases Control, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / National Center for Infectious Diseases / Bacterial Zoonoses Branch, USA, CO, Fort Collins\nLondon School of Hygiene&Tropical Medicine, UK, London\nLudwig-Maximilians-Universität / Max von Pettenkofer-Institut für Hygiene und Medizinische Mikrobiologie, Germany, Munich

Project summary

The identification of the natural foci of infectious agents, persisting in biotic and abiotic area, is one of the most important tasks in prevention of infectious diseases. Infectious agents such as plague, tularemia, anthrax and cholera are the main subjects of danger and therefore interest in Caucus region and especially in Georgia. Today, after well-known events of September 11, 2001, the threat of bioterrorism made the society more sensitive to those infectious agents, which can be used as a biological weapon.

The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) was founded on the basis of Georgian station for plague control that was supervised by the Ministry of Health in USSR. During the decades along with surveillance and epidemiological studies station for plague control have been extensively exploiting so called “Secret projects”.

The main objective of this proposal is to renovate the epidemiological surveillance system on particularly dangerous infections in Georgia. Under this main goal our objectives are: to give molecular-epidemiological characterization of Yersinia; to identify and isolate Yersinia strains from their natural foci; to allow effective implementation of the knowledge of Georgian and foreign experts in prevention of epidemics of yersiniosis and to enable policy makers, program managers, and researchers to evaluate existing infectious diseases programs and develop new strategies.

Yersinia pestis is one of the most devastating infectious agents in the world. Cases of plague were described starting from pre-Christian era. Despite of major advances made in the knowledge of disease, plague has not been eradicated yet. The epidemiology of the disease and the strong survival ability of Y.pestis define the persistence of plague. There are two natural foci of plague in Georgia. First focus includes the territories of Dedoplistskaro, Signakhi, Sagarejo and Gardabani regions. The main reservoir of plague in these foci is Meriones erythrourus (libicus), the main vector – Xenopsylla conformis and Ceratophyllus laeviceps. Totally 83 strains were isolated: 30 strains from rodents and 53 strains from the vectors. Another focus includes territories of Ninotsminda, Akhalkalaki regions on Javakheti plateau. The main reservoir in this focus was Microtus arvalis, the main vector – Callopsylla caspia, Nosopsillus consimilis. From 39 strains isolated 5 strains were from rodents and 34 from vectors.

The whole range of works within the project we have pided into following tasks:

1. Collection of field material.

2. Collection of clinical samples.

3. Detection and isolation strains of Y.pestis, Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis.

4. Investigation of antimicrobial susceptibility of isolated strains of Yersinia.

5. Molecular-biological analysis of isolated strains of Yersinia.

As a result of these activities, several Georgian scientists previously engaged in research associated with biological warfare will be able to redirect their activities to address one of the most urgent Georgian and global public health concerns. They will have an opportunity to integrate their talents into the international scientific community.

Besides, several results will be achieved:

– epidemiological data for natural foci of Y. pestis will be collected, assessment of natural foci of Y. pestis will be carried out;

– sustainable program of surveillance of natural foci of Y. pestis will be developed; epidemiological surveillance system on Y. pestis in Georgia will be established;
– laboratory facilities of NCDC Georgia will be strengthened in order to respond rapidly to urgent threats of Public Health;
– mechanisms of transmission of yersiniosis in Georgia will be investigated;
– novel genetic markers for Yersinia will be identified;
– obtained data will enable policy makers, program managers, and researchers to evaluate existing infectious diseases programs and develop new strategies for combating particularly dangerous infections in Georgia.


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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