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Ecology of Francisella tularensis

Authors
  • Telford, Sam R. III
  • Goethert, Heidi K.
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Jan 07, 2020
Volume
65
Pages
351–372
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ento-011019-025134
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Tularemia is a Holarctic zoonosis caused by the gamma proteobacterium Francisella tularensis and is considered to be a vector-borne disease. In many regions, human risk is associated with the bites of flies, mosquitoes, or ticks. But the biology of the agent is such that risk may be fomite related, and large outbreaks can occur due to inhalation or ingestion of contaminated materials. Such well-documented human risk factors suggest a role for these risk factors in the enzootic cycle as well. Many arthropods support the growth or survival of the agent, but whether arthropods (ticks in particular) are obligately required for the perpetuation of F. tularensis remains to be demonstrated. As with most zoonoses, our knowledge of the ecology of F. tularensis has been driven with the objective of understanding human risk. In this review, we focus on the role of the arthropod in maintaining F. tularensis, particularly with respect to long-term enzootic persistence.

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