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Volume 10, Number 3—March 2004

Research

Laboratory Analysis of Tularemia in Wild-Trapped, Commercially Traded Prairie Dogs, Texas, 2002

Jeannine M. Petersen*Comments to Author , Martin E. Schriefer*, Leon G. Carter*, Yan Zhou*, Tara Sealy*, Darcy Bawiec*, Brook Yockey*, Sandra Urich*, Nordin S. Zeidner*, Swati Avashia†, Jacob L. Kool*, Jan Buck‡, Connie Lindley‡, Leos Celeda§, John A. Monteneiri*, Kenneth L. Gage*, and May C. Chu*
Author affiliations: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA; †Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; ‡Texas Dept of Health, Arlington, Texas, USA; §State Veterinary Administration, Prague, Czech Republic

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Table 1

Laboratory results for outbreak of tularemia in wild-trapped, commercially sold prairie dogs

Group Prairie dogs No. of
animals Presumptive-positive samplesa Confirmed-positive samplesb Confirmed-negative samplesc
A
Exotic animal facility, Texas, bin 1, dead animals
47d
7
40
0
B
Exotic animal facility, Texas, bin 1, live animals
23
0
20
3
C
Exotic animal facility, Texas, escapees
36
0
1
35
D
Exotic animal facility, Texas bin 2 and cages, healthy
58
0
0
58
E
Pet shop recalls, originating from exotic animal facility, Texas
7
1
1
5
F Czech Republic, originating from exotic animal facility, Texas 100 5 1 Not determined

aPrairie dogs were confirmed positive on recovery of an isolate with characteristic
growth on cysteine heart agar with 9% sheep blood and positive testing of the isolate by direct fluorescent assay (DFA) or ISFtu2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
bPrairie dogs were considered presumptive positive if primary tissues tested positive by
DFA or PCR but no isolate was obtained.
cPrairie dogs were confirmed negative if all three diagnostic tests (culture, DFA, serologic testing) failed to detect any evidence of Francisella tularensis infection.
d46 animals that remained on site August 2, 2002, plus 1 animal that initiated the outbreak
investigation (TX021935)

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