Editor: Patrick Brennan
Seroprevalence study of Francisella tularensis among hunters in Germany
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
© 2008 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology
Volume 53, Issue 2, pages 183–189, July 2008
How to Cite
Jenzora, A., Jansen, A., Ranisch, H., Lierz, M., Wichmann, O. and Grunow, R. (2008), Seroprevalence study of Francisella tularensis among hunters in Germany. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, 53: 183–189. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2008.00408.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Received 28 June 2007; revised 24 January 2008; accepted 15 February 2008.First published online 6 May 2008.
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In 2005 and 2006, Francisella tularensis unexpectedly reemerged in western Germany, when several semi-free-living marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) in a research facility died from tularemia and a group of hare hunters became infected. It is believed that hunters may have an elevated risk to be exposed to zoonotic pathogens, including F. tularensis. A previous cross-sectional study of the German population (n=6883) revealed a prevalence of 0.2%. Here, we investigated 286 sera from individuals mainly hunting in districts with emerging tularemia cases (group 1) and 84 sera from a region currently not conspicuous for tularemia (group 2). Methods included standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Western blot analysis and indirect immunofluorescence assay. We found five out of the 286 hunters (1.7%; 95% CI 0.6–4.0%) in group 1 positive with standard ELISA and Western blot, but none in the Berlin area (group 2; 95% CI 0–0.04%). Group 1 showed an elevated risk for hunters to be seropositive for F. tularensis compared with the cross-sectional study (OR=7.7; P<0.001). This indicates a higher prevalence for tularemia in hunters of a suspected endemic region of Germany.