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Humoral and cell-mediated immunity to the intracellular pathogen Francisella tularensis


Dennis W. Metzger
Center for Immunology and Microbial Disease
Albany Medical College
47 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208, USA
Tel.: +1 518 262 6750
Fax: +1 518 262 6053


Summary: Francisella tularensis can cause fatal respiratory tularemia in humans and animals and is increasingly being isolated in the United States and several European countries. The correlates of protective immunity against this intracellular bacterium are not known, and currently there are no licensed vaccines available for human use. Cell-mediated immunity has long been believed to be critical for protection, and the importance of humoral immunity is also now recognized. Furthermore, synergy between antibodies, T cell-derived cytokines, and phagocytes appears to be critical to achieve sterilizing immunity against F. tularensis. Thus, novel vaccine approaches should be designed to induce robust antibody and cell-mediated immune responses to this pathogen.