Tularaemia: bioterrorism defence renews interest in Francisella tularensis

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2004 Dec;2(12):967-78. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1045.


Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious aerosolizable intracellular pathogen that is capable of causing a debilitating or fatal disease with doses as low as 25 colony-forming units. There is no licensed vaccine available. Since the 1950s there has been concern that F. tularensis could be used as a biological threat agent, and it has received renewed attention recently owing to concerns about bioterrorism. The International Conference on Tularaemia in 2003 attracted more than 200 delegates, twice the number of participants as previous meetings. This is a reflection of the increased funding of research on this pathogen, particularly in the United States.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Bioterrorism / prevention & control
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dogs
  • Francisella tularensis* / classification
  • Francisella tularensis* / pathogenicity
  • Francisella tularensis* / physiology
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Tularemia* / epidemiology
  • Tularemia* / pathology
  • Tularemia* / therapy
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Virulence


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Attenuated