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Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative coccobacillus and the etiologic agent of the zoonotic disease tularemia. First described in 1911 in Tulare County, California, it has since been reported throughout the Northern Hemisphere, with natural infections reported among an unusually wide range of vertebrates and invertebrates. In recent years, tularemia has emerged in new geographic locations, populations, and settings. This review will serve to highlight mechanisms contributing to the recent emergence of tularemia as well as a repertoire of diagnostic tools useful for detecting and diagnosing disease.