Tularemia

- Chad Wickard - Libby Hurley

Tularemia Research in NIAID Laboratories

What is the pathogen that causes the disease?

- Bacteria: Francisella Tularensis

Where was the pathogen first identified?

- first discovered in 1928

- Tulare County, California

- discovered by Dr. Edwards Francis

Forms of Tularemia:

> Ulceroglandular:

- most common

- usually appears after tick, deer, or fly bite

- skin ulcer appears

- accompanied by swelling of lymph glands

> Glandular:

- very similar to ulcerograndular, with no ulcer

- acquired the same way as ulcerograndular

- handling sick/ dead animals

> Oculoglandular:

- occurs when bacteria enter through the eye

- irritation/ inflammation of eye

- swelling lymph glands in front of ear

> Oropharyngeal:

- results from eating and drinking contaminated water

- sore throat, mouth ulcers, tonsillitis

- swelling of lymph glands neck

> Pneumonic:

- most serious form

- results from breathing dusts or aerosols containing the organisms

- cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing

How is the disease spread?

- tularemia can enter through the skin, eyes, mouth, throat, or lungs depending on the form you've encountered

- no reports of human to human transmission

- tick or deer fly bites

- handling dead animals that have the bacteria (hunting)

- inhaling dusts (farming, landscaping)

How is the disease treated?

> Tularemia can be treated with antibiotics

- streptomycin, gentamicin, doxyclycline, ciprofloxacin

> lasts 10- 21 days

> most patients completely recover




What steps can be taken to prevent contracting Tularemia?

- use of insect repellants

- wearing clothes that cover your body properly

- don't drinking untreated surface water

- consider the use of dust masks

- don't mow over dead animals

- wear gloves when handling dead animals

- cook meat thoroughly

What else should I know about Tularemia?

Survival Rate

> Tularemia can be treated and most people do recover

> when treated, the death rate is less than 2%

> without treatment, 30-60% may die

Bioterrorism Uses

> could be effective

> WHO (World Health Organization) estimates 50 kilos released in a populated city of 5 million, would cause 250,000 illnesses and 19,000 deaths

> special precautions must be taken to prepare for a Tularemia attack

First Emergence

> Prior to 1950, there were several thousand cases per year

> since then, there was an outbreak November 2001 in the country of Kosovo

Sources