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Future Microbiol. 2011 Apr;6(4):391-405. doi: 10.2217/fmb.11.22.

Tularemia vaccines: recent developments and remaining hurdles.

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  • 1National Research Council, Institute for Biological Sciences, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen of humans and other mammals. Its inhaled infectious dose is very low and can result in very high mortality. Historically, subsp. tularensis was developed as a biological weapon and there are now concerns about its abuse as such by terrorists. A live attenuated vaccine developed pragmatically more than half a century ago from the less virulent holarctica subsp. is the sole prophylactic available, but it remains unlicensed. In recent years several other potential live, killed and subunit vaccine candidates have been developed and tested in mice for their efficacy against respiratory challenge with subsp. tularensis. This article will review these vaccine candidates and the development hurdles they face.

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