General or Other | General Practice | Tularemia (Disease)


Tularemia is an infectious disease (zoonosis), caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. This infection can affect any person regardless of age or sex. Tularemia prevails among wild animals; bacteria can survive in different environments contaminated exterior, where the body reaches.

Causes and Risk factors

The disease can be transmitted through insect bites, contact with infected animals or by contact with contaminated objects. Usual clinical manifestations consist in the occurrence of ulcerative lesions at pathogen invasion, accompanied by regional lymphadenopathy and lymphadenitis. General manifestations are not specific to the disease (fever, pneumonia), so that a positive diagnosis is difficult to determine.

Tularemia bacteria can produce a single disease: Tularemia. Etiologic agent (F. tularensis) is a small bacillus, gram-negative, real estate and not sporuleaza. Is a strictly aerobic bacterium capable of invading human host cells. F. tularensis can persist in moist soil, water and decaying organic matter found for several weeks. Hematophagous insects are vectors that contribute to the spread of bacteria.

Reservoir of infection is usually represented in wildlife: rabbits, squirrels, birds, beavers, rats, and sheep, dogs and domestic cats. There are two serotypes of the bacterium F. tularensis princupale:

Serotype A = F. tularensis-tularensis, which causes a more severe form of disease, accompanied by increased mortality rates. Serotype B = F. tularensis-palearctic, which produces a milder form of disease, often with subclinical manifestations. Ticks are important vectors of transmission of infection, the bacteria were eliminated in the stools of these parasites. Ticks parasitizing the skin, flush with the skin, and transmit infection while feeding on host blood.

Contaminated feces in contact with solution of continuity caused by ticks, favors infection. The disease occurs especially in hot weather, when insects are in full activity, and in winter, wild animals hunted by domestic consumption. The bacterium is highly virulent F. tularensis and handling contaminated laboratory preparations, requires drastic protective measures.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The goal of treatment is to cure the infection with antibiotics. Streptomycin and tetracycline are commonly used to treat this infection. Once daily gentamicin treatment has been tried with excellent results as an alternative therapy to streptomycin. However, because this is a rare disease, only a few cases have been studied to-date.

Tetracycline and chloramphenicol can be used alone, but they have a high relapse rate and are not considered a first-line treatment. ...