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Introduction: Concept Of Defining Feature

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Chapter Summary

In principle, all diseases are identified by comparison with known defining properties or a set of characteristic features according to a level and range of compatibility. A standard case definition serves as the base for description of the epidemiology of a disease or health event. A defining feature of an epidemic disease is characteristic only of that disease and permits therefore certain identification. Positive identification of the microbiological agent of historical plague epidemics can be achieved by direct positive identification of the genetic or biological material, the DNA or proteins of Yersinia pestis, taken from skeletal remains in plague graves of the past.

Keywords: cardinal feature; historical plague



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