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published: 12 Jun 2008 last updated: 21 Jun 2012
This species was discovered in ground squirrels in Tulare County, California in 1911; Bacterium tularense was soon isolated by George Walter McCoy of the US Plague Lab in San Francisco and reported in 1912EN
Francisella tularensis is a pathogenic species of gram-negative bacteria. A member of the genus Francisella, F. tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia or rabbit fever. F. tularensis is capable of infecting a number of small mammals such as voles, rabbits, and muskrats, as well as humans. Despite this, no case of tularemia has been shown to be initiated by human-to-human transmission. Rather, tularemia is caused by contact with infected animals or vectors such as ticks and mosquitos.EN