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(to͞olərē`mēə) or

rabbit fever,

acute, infectious disease caused by Francisella tularensis (Pasteurella tularensis). The greatest incidence is among people who handle infected wild rabbits. Tularemia may also be transmitted by other infected animals, ticks, or contaminated food or water. Within 10 days of contact the disease begins suddenly with high fever and severe constitutional symptoms. An ulcerating lesion (or several lesions) develops at the site of infection, such as the arm, eye, or mouth. The regional lymph nodes enlarge, suppurate, and drain. The infection may be complicated by pneumonia, meningitis, or peritonitis, and the mortality rate is about 6%. Treatment is with antibiotics. Continuous wet saline dressings can be beneficial for primary skin lesion.



an acute infectious disease of animals and man caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, named after Tulare County, Calif., where the disease was first isolated by G. McCoy and C. Chapin in 1911 in infected ground squirrels.

Tularemia is found in the USA, the USSR, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Norway, France, and other countries of the northern hemisphere. Man becomes infected by handling rodents or hares that are infected with the disease or that have died of it. Infection may also occur through contact with water, straw, or food products contaminated by such animals. The disease is transmitted by insect and tick bites as well. Tularemia is naturally endemic. The causative agent enters the body by means of the skin, the mucous membranes of the eye, or the alimentary or respiratory tract. The incubation period ranges from three to seven days.

The symptoms of tularemia are fever, severe headache, insomnia, night sweats, and swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes, which may break down and suppurate. Several types of tularemia are distinguished, according to the site of the initial infection: ulceroglandular, oculoglandular, gastrointestinal, and pneumonic. The disease generally persists for two to three weeks; the mortality rate is less than 1 percent.

Tularemia is diagnosed by means of a skin test and the highly specific agglutination reaction. The disease is treated with such antibiotics as streptomycin and the tetracyclines. Recovery is followed by reliable immunity. The disease cannot be transmitted from one person to another. Preventive measures include the use of viable tularemia vaccine, which assures immunity for approximately five years, extermination of rodents and ticks, protection of water sources against contamination, prophylactic measures in agricultural practices, and personal hygiene.


Tuliaremiia. Moscow, 1960.
Olsufev, N. G., and T. N. Dunaeva. Prirodnaia ochagovost’, epidemiologiia i profilaktika tularemii. Moscow, 1970.
Fur-bearing animals and all species of farm animals, particularly sheep, may be affected by tularemia; young animals are particularly susceptible. The disease is transmitted from infected rodents by means of feed and water or airborne droplets, or from the bites of bloodsucking arthropods. Tularemia is often latent. It may be manifested, particularly in spring and summer, by fever, diarrhea, exhaustion, enlargement of the lymph nodes, nervous disturbances, and miscarriages. The course is benign in most animals, but the disease lowers the productivity of fur-bearing animals and sheep and may be fatal to the young of these animals.
Tularemia in animals is treated with antibiotics. Preventive measures include rodent control and protection against blood sucking arthropods. Infected animals should be isolated, and those severely affected should be slaughtered. The area of infection should be disinfected and scrubbed, and the carcasses decontaminated.



(veterinary medicine)
A bacterial infection of wild rodents caused by Pasteurella tularensis; it may be generalized, or it may be localized in the eyes, skin, or lymph nodes, or in the respiratory tract or gastrointestinal tract; may be transmitted to humans and to some domesticated animals.
References in periodicals archive ?
An example is tularemia, which is reported to have the highest incidence in the mid-southern United States, the region served by our institution.
8 million contract from the Department of Defense, via the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), to fund NDA-enabling studies to evaluate Restanza's efficacy against bioterror agents such as tularemia, plague and melioidosis.
Berrada began her work with tularemia at Colorado State University, where she studied microbiology and worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases.
Tularemia is a zoonotic infection caused by the small, aerobic, pleomorphic Gram negative coccobacillus Francisella tularensis to which humans are a highly susceptible host.
Recreational activities as listed above or exposure to contaminated soil, water or animal carcasses should increase suspicion of infection with the Tularemia bacterium.
Under the terms of the contract, DVC will develop and optimize pre-clinical testing models, assess immune response and develop new tularemia vaccine candidates.
But the state-level environmental review process passed before any information regarding the tularemia infections was provided.
Ed note: Tularemia is a plague-like disease of rabbits, squirrels, rodents, etc.
Tularemia occurs naturally in small to medium-sized mammals, such as rabbits, rodents, prairie dogs and squirrels.
Moreover, the risk of morbidity and mortality in patients with glandular tularemia is best minimized by specific antimicrobial therapy that is not usually considered for the more common causes of infectious lymphadenopathy.
The animals were exported to Japan by a Texan firm called Texas Animal Export, they said, adding that tularemia bacteria were detected in several prairie dogs that died suddenly at the firm's facilities.
Some of their most potent weapons, including biological agents like anthrax, tularemia, and smallpox, are invisible and can go undetected for days.