Background: Outbreaks of Type A tularemia due to Francisella tularensis
tularensis are typically sporadic and unstable, greatly hindering identification of
the determinants of perpetuation and human risk. Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts has
experienced an outbreak of Type A tularemia which has persisted for 9 years. This
unique situation... read morehas allowed us to conduct long-term eco-epidemiologic studies there.
Our hypothesis is that the agent of Type A tularemia is perpetuated as a
metapopulation, with many small isolated natural foci of transmission. During times
of increased transmission, the foci would merge and a larger scale epizootic would
occur, with greater likelihood that humans become exposed.