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Review
. 2013 Apr 1;3(4):a010314.
doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a010314.

Mechanisms of Francisella Tularensis Intracellular Pathogenesis

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Free PMC article
Review

Mechanisms of Francisella Tularensis Intracellular Pathogenesis

Jean Celli et al. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Francisella tularensis is a zoonotic intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of the debilitating febrile illness tularemia. Although natural infections by F. tularensis are sporadic and generally localized, the low infectious dose, with the ability to be transmitted to humans via multiple routes and the potential to cause life-threatening infections, has led to concerns that this bacterium could be used as an agent of bioterror and released intentionally into the environment. Recent studies of F. tularensis and other closely related Francisella species have greatly increased our understanding of mechanisms used by this organism to infect and cause disease within the host. Here, we review the intracellular life cycle of Francisella and highlight key genetic determinants and/or pathways that contribute to the survival and proliferation of this bacterium within host cells.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Model of the Francisella intracellular cycle depicting stages that are common to murine and human phagocytes. Upon phagocytosis, bacteria reside in an early phagosome (FCP) that interacts with early (EE) and late (LE) endocytic compartments but not lysosomes (Lys). Bacteria rapidly disrupt the FCP membrane and reach the cytosol where they undergo extensive replication, a process followed by cell death, bacterial release, and subsequent infection.

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