chapter
14 Pages

Tularemia

WithCluff E. Hopla, Anna K. Hopla

Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by a bacterial organism, Francisella tularensis. For humans the tularemia organism is highly infectious and stated to be capable of penetrating the unbroken skin, but more likely it gains entrance through inapparent cuts and abrasions. Tularemia is associated with a wider range of hosts than most other zoonotic diseases, ranging from lotic water, mammals, and birds to a variety of arthropod vectors such as fleas, flies, and ticks. Domestic cats are not commonly associated with F. tularensis, and diagnosis has been made retrospectively, after primary diagnosis in people. The epidemiological characteristics of human tularemia are varied from one area to another. Transstadial transmission of tularemia organisms by ticks has been reported by several investigators and is generally accepted. Nonfatal cases of tularemia in domestic cats have been reported in the literature and characteristically are inadequately described for in-depth evaluation.