PLoS One. 2021 Apr 2;16(4):e0249464. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0249464. eCollection 2021.
Along with other countries in America, plague reached Brazil through the sea routes during the third pandemic. A brief ports phase was followed by an urban phase that took place in smaller inland cities and finally, it attained the rural area and established several foci where the ecological conditions were suitable for its continued existence. However, the geographic dispersion of plague in Brazil is still poorly studied. To better understand the disease dynamics, we accessed satellite-based data to trace the spatial occurrence and distribution of human plague cases in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil and using the municipality of Exu as study case area. Along with the satellite data, a historical survey using the Plague Control Program files was applied to characterize the spatial and temporal dispersion of cases in the period of 1945-1976. Kernel density estimation, spatial and temporal clusters with statistical significance and maximum entropy modeling were used for spatial data analysis, by means of the spatial analysis software packages. The use of geostatistical tools allowed evidencing the shift of the infection from the urban to the wild-sylvatic areas and the reemergence of cases after a period of quiescence, independent of the reintroduction from other plague areas.