Query: NC_008369:1702885 Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica OSU18, complete genome Lineage: Francisella tularensis; Francisella; Francisellaceae; Thiotrichales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: Isolated from a beaver that died of tularemia in Oklahoma in 1978. Causative agent of tularemia. This organism was first identified by Edward Francis as the causative agent of a plague-like illness that affected squirrels in Tulare county in California in the early part of the 20th century. The organism now bears his name. The disease, which has been noted throughout recorded history, can be transmitted to humans by infected ticks or deerflies, infected meat, or by aerosol, and thus is a potential bioterrorism agent. This organism has a high infectivity rate, and can invade phagocytic and nonphagocytic cells, multiplying rapidly. Once within a macrophage, the organism can escape the phagosome and live in the cytosol. It is an aquatic organism, and can be found living inside protozoans, similar to what is observed with Legionella.
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General Information: This organism is found in adult humans and formula fed infants as a normal component of gut flora. Representatives of this genus naturally colonize the human gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and are important for establishing and maintaining homeostasis of the intestinal ecosystem to allow for normal digestion. Their presence has been associated with beneficial health effects, such as prevention of diarrhea, amelioration of lactose intolerance, or immunomodulation. The stabilizing effect on GIT microflora is attributed to the capacity of bifidobacteria to produce bacteriocins, which are bacteriostatic agents with a broad spectrum of action, and to their pH-reducing activity. Most of the ~30 known species of bifidobacteria have been isolated from the mammalian GIT, and some from the vaginal and oral cavity. All are obligate anaerobes belonging to the Actinomycetales, branch of Gram-positive bacteria with high GC content that also includes Corynebacteria, Mycobacteria, and Streptomycetes.