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Open Access Septic Tularemia in 2 Cottontop Tamarins (Sanguinus oedipus)

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Two captive cottontop tamarins (Sanguinus oedipus) died within 5 d of each other from systemic infection by Francisella tularensis (tularemia). One tamarin experienced mild clinical signs, including malaise, anorexia, and a mucoid nasal discharge for 4 d before death, whereas the other experienced a more rapid progression of disease that lasted less than 24 h. Differential diagnoses included gram-negative septicemia by an organism such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, or Yersinia; protozoal infection such as Toxoplasma gondii or an acute viral infection such as lymphocytic choriomeningitis. F. tularensis infection was identified by F. tularensis-specific PCR in both primates. Possible sources of infection include aerosol, biting arthropod vectors, and transmission via a rodent reservoir. This case report highlights the importance of tularemia as a differential diagnosis in acute febrile illness in captive nonhuman primates.

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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Virginia Zoo, Norfolk, Virginia, USA 2: WestVet Diagnostic Laboratory, Meridian, Idaho, USA 3: Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman Washington, USA

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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