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Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014 Mar;37(2):85-96. doi: 10.1016/j.cimid.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Tularaemia: a challenging zoonosis.

Author information

1
Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Science (ICAAM), School of Science and Technology ECT, University of Évora, Portugal; Centre for Vectors and Infectious Diseases Research, National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge, Águas de Moura, Portugal.
2
Emergency Response and Bio-preparedness Unit, National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge, Lisbon, Portugal.
3
Centre for Vectors and Infectious Diseases Research, National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge, Águas de Moura, Portugal.
4
Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Science (ICAAM), School of Science and Technology ECT, University of Évora, Portugal. Electronic address: emld@uevora.pt.

Abstract

In recent years, several emerging zoonotic vector-borne infections with potential impact on human health have been identified in Europe, including tularaemia, caused by Francisella tularensis. This remarkable pathogen, one of the most virulent microorganisms currently known, has been detected in increasingly new settings and in a wide range of wild species, including lagomorphs, rodents, carnivores, fish and invertebrate arthropods. Also, a renewed concern has arisen with regard to F. tularensis: its potential use by bioterrorists. Based on the information published concerning the latest outbreaks, the aim of this paper is to review the main features of the agent, its biology, immunology and epidemiology. Moreover, special focus will be given to zoonotic aspects of the disease, as tularaemia outbreaks in human populations have been frequently associated with disease in animals.

KEYWORDS:

Category A biowarfare agents; Francisella tularensis; Tularaemia; Wild animals; Zoonosis

PMID:
24480622
DOI:
10.1016/j.cimid.2014.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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