Ep 121 Tularemia: Hare today, gone tomorrow
The CDC’s list of highest priority bioterrorism agents is a short one, with only six pathogens making the cut. Among the more familiar names on the list, such as anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox, and viral hemorrhagic fevers, is the topic of today’s episode: Francisella tularensis. Unless you’re a hunter or work with small mammals, you may not recognize the name of this pathogen or the disease it causes - tularemia - let alone the characteristics that earned it a place on the CDC’s list. By the end of this episode, though, all that will have changed. Join us as we explore why this pathogen’s brutal biology makes it a force to be reckoned with, how the history of its discovery has surprising origins in the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and what promises future research may hold for protection against this deadly disease.