OTHER NAMES :
Small plague, rabbit fever, deer-fly fever, Ohara's disease.
GENERAL INFORMATION :
IN A FEW LINES :
Tularæmia is a zoonosis whose causal agent is Francisella tularensis. The species most prone to the infection are primarily the lagomorphs and rodents, but many other species can be infected, of which the sheep, the horse, the dog, the cat and primates are those best documented.
The bacterium can be transmitted to humans in arthropod bites or by direct contact with animals or infected materials.
The infection is usually endemic, rarely epidemic and cannot be transmitted through contact with an infected patient.
Two types of F. tularensis have been identified on the basis of their characteristics in culture. One, known as type A or biovar tularensis, is found mainly in North America and is the most virulent form; its main host is the lagomorphs.
The other, type B or biovar paleartica, is found in the Northern hemisphere; it is less virulent and its main host is wild rodents.
In humans, tularæmia usually begins with a high fever, shivering and aches. Its incubation period is 1 to 14 days.
Several types of symptoms: ulcero-glandular, glandular, oculo-glandular (conjunctivitis and swelling of the sub-parotid ganglion), typhoid (septicæmia and diarrhœa); oro-pharyngeal or pulmonary symptoms have been reported, depending on the route of infection of F. tularensis. Some cases of death have been reported in humans, usually in patients who had not been treated with antibiotics.
In animals, the incubation period is 2 to 10 days. The most vulnerable species are rodents and lagomorphs. The pathogenesis of the naturally-occurring disease in animals is not well understood, since we normally encounter only dying or dead animals. Death occurs after 8 to 14 days in experimentally-inoculated animals.
ROLE OF CODA-CERVA :
CODA-CERVA is the Belgian National reference Laboratory for human and animal aspects of tularaemia.
Our laboratory is able to perform the isolation and molecular typing of Francisella tularensis. We are also able to carry out serological tests or sero-agglutination.
SCIENTIST RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS TOPIC :
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