Tularaemia is a disease caused by a gram-negative organism, Francisella tularenis. This organism is primarily a zoonosis and usually affects rodents including squirrels and rabbits. The vectors in this infection are ticks, mosquitoes and flies.
Human infection results from bites from vectors or from handling infected animals. Infection can result from entry of the organism through the skin or minor abrasions in the conjunctivae or mouth. The infection also may be contracted from contaminated water or from eating uncooked meat.
This disease has a worldwide distribution and is frequently seen in the United States.
Last reviewed 01/2018