wildlife and zoo assay data sheet
Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
B0058 - Ultrasensitive screen for
Francisella tularensis by real time polymerase chain
Francisella tularensis is a small Gram-negative aerobic bacillus with two main
serotypes: Jellison Type A and Type B. Type A is the more
virulent form. Tularemia is frequently spread by direct contact
with rabbits, leading to the term "rabbit fever." The disease
can also be spread by rodents, and by ticks.
is very resistant to environmental changes and is capable of
surviving for weeks at low temperatures in water, moist soil,
hay, straw, or decaying animal carcasses. Small mammals such as
voles, mice, water rats, squirrels, rabbits, and hares are
natural reservoirs for F.
tularensis. These animals are infected with the bacteria
through bites from ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes and contact with
contaminated environments. People are infected through bites
from infected arthropods (usually ticks), contact with infected
animal tissues or fluids, direct contact with or ingestion of
contaminated water, food, or soil, or inhalation of aerosolized
bacteria. F. tularensis
is very infectious so that the simple act of examining an open
laboratory culture plate without adequate protective equipment
can lead to infection and disease. For this reason,
F. tularensis is
classified as a bioterrorism agent and culture of the bacteria
without suitable laboratory facilities is not recommended.
with the bacteria can develop symptoms in 3 to 5 days but some
people may take as long as two weeks for symptoms to develop.
Symptoms vary with mode of infection, but generally include
fever, chills, joint and muscle pain, headache, weakness and
sometimes pneumonia. People who develop pneumonic tularemia
experience chest pain, bloody sputum and difficulty breathing.
The disease is easily cured by antibiotic treatment.
detection of the bacteria is usually not suitable due to the
highly infectious nature of the bacteria. Culture is also not
very sensitive (Johansson et al., 2000). Serological diagnosis
can be unreliable because some infections may not result in
seroconversion (Johansson et al., 2000). Molecular detection of
F. tularensis is
rapid, sensitive and specific.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of Tularemia
Help ensure that animal populations and facilities are free of
Early prevention of the spread of
Minimize human exposure to
Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines
that derive from susceptible animals
Johansson, A., Berglund, L., Eriksson, U., Göransson, I., Wollin,
R., Forsman, M., Tärnvik, A. and Sjöstedt, A. (2000) Comparative
Analysis of PCR
versus Culture for Diagnosis of Ulceroglandular Tularemia. J.
Clin. Microbiol. 38: 22-26.
0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube, or 0.1 ml synovial fluid, or tick.
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information.
2 business days
real time PCR