Between the 20th October and the 18th November 1998, an outbreak of bubonic plague was declared in a hamlet in the Ikongo district of Madagascar. We conducted an epidemiological survey because of the re-emergence of the disease in this area (the last cases had been notified in 1965) and because of the low altitude compared to the classical Malagasy foci. The outbreak had been preceded by an important rat epizootics during September. A total of 21 cases were registered with an attack rate of 16.7% (21/126) and a lethality rate of 33% (7/21). The disease was more prevalent in males (66% of cases) and children aged < 15 years, as observed in general throughout the country. The anti-F1 seroprevalence among the contact population was 13.5% (13/96), probably attributable to subclinical infection by Yersinia pestis. No rodent was trapped during the survey, but an endemic hedgehog (Tenrec ecaudatus) was highly seropositive, suggesting a recent transmission of the plague bacillus among this species. The small mammals and vectors possibly involved in these new foci were investigated in May 1999.