Molecular analysis of Francisella tularensis subspecies tularensis and holarctica

P. D. Fey, Major M.P. Dempsey, M. E. Olson, M. S. Chrustowski, J. L. Engle, J. J. Jay, M. E. Dobson, K. S. Kalasinsky, A. A. Shea, P. C. Iwen, R. C. Wickert, S. C. Francesconi, R. M. Crawford, S. H. Hinrichs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Rapid methods are needed for public health and military applications to specifically identify Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia in humans. A comparative analysis of the capabilities of multiple technologies was performed using a well-defined set of organisms to determine which approach would provide the most information in the shortest time. High-resolution molecular techniques, including pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, amplified fragment length polymorphism, and ribotyping, provided subspecies level identification within approximately 24 hours after obtaining an isolate, whereas multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis with 8 or 25 targets provided strain level discrimination within about 12 hours. In contrast, Raman spectroscopy provided species level identification in 10 minutes but could not differentiate between subspecies tularensis and holarctica.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)926-935
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Amplified fragment length polymorphism
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Ribotyping; multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis
  • Subspecies identification
  • Tularemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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