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 strain is a standard laboratory strain. It is virulent for humans and cattle. Causes bovine brucellosis. They are highly infectious, and can be spread through contact with infected animal products or through the air, making them a potential bioterrorism agent. Once the organism has entered the body, it can become intracellular, and enter the blood and lymphatic regions, multiplying inside phagocytes before eventually causing bacteremia (spread of bacteria through the blood). Virulence may depend on a type IV secretion system which may promote intracellular growth by secreting important effector molecules. This organism was first noticed on the island of Malta. It is the primary cause of bovine brucellosis, which results in enormous (billions of dollars) economic losses due primarily to reproductive failure and food losses. In man, it causes undulant fever, a long debilitating disease that is treated by protracted administration of antibiotics.