Human plague remains a public health concern in Tanzania despite its quiescence in most foci for
years, considering the recurrence nature of the disease. Despite the long-standing history of this problem,
there have not been recent reviews of the current knowledge on plague in Tanzania. This work aimed at
providing a current overview of plague in Tanzania in terms of its introduction, potential reservoirs, possible
causes of plague persistence and repeated outbreaks in the country. Plague is believed to have been
introduced to Tanzania from the Middle East through Uganda with the first authentication in 1886. Xenopsylla
, X. cheopis
, Dinopsyllus lypusus
, and Pulex irritans
are among potential vectors while Lophuromys
spp, Praomys delectorum
, Graphiurus murinus
, Lemniscomys striatus
, Mastomys natalensis
, and Rattus rattus
may be the potential reservoirs. Plague persistence and repeated outbreaks in Tanzania are likely to be
attributable to a complexity of factors including cultural, socio-economical, environmental and biological.
Minimizing or preventing people’s proximity to rodents is probably the most effective means of preventing
plague outbreaks in humans in the future. In conclusion, much has been done on plague diagnosis in Tanzania.
However, in order to achieve new insights into the features of plague epidemiology in the country, and to
reorganize an effective control strategy, we recommend broader studies that will include the ecology of the
pathogen, vectors and potential hosts, identifying the reservoirs, dynamics of infection and landscape ecology.