Author(s): Forsman M, Sandstrm G, Jaurin B
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Abstract Tularemia is a zoonotic disease, occurring throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The causative agent, the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is represented by two main types. Type A is found in North America, whereas type B is mainly found in Asia and Europe and to a minor extent in North America. No routine technique for rapid diagnosis of tularemia has been generally applied. We have partially sequenced 16S rRNAs of two F. tularensis strains, as well as the closely related Francisella novicida. Of 550 nucleotides analyzed, only one difference in 16S rRNA primary sequence was found. This 16S rRNA analysis enabled the construction of oligonucleotides to be used as genus- and type-specific probes. Such probes were utilized for the establishment of a method for rapid and selective detection of the organism. This method allowed identification of Francisella spp. at the level of genus and also discrimination of type A and type B strains of F. tularensis. The analysis also permitted the detection of F. tularensis in spleen tissue from mice infected with the bacterium. The results presented will enable studies on the epizootiology and epidemiology of Francisella spp.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques