Epidemiology and Infection

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Epidemiology and Infection (2010), 138:376-379 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009
doi:10.1017/S0950268809990513

Short Report

Birds and humans

The role of birds in dissemination of Francisella tularensis: first direct molecular evidence for bird-to-human transmission


P. I. PADESHKIa1 c1, I. N. IVANOVa1, B. POPOV and T. V. KANTARDJIEVa1

a1 National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Sofia, Bulgaria
Article author query
padeshki pi [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
ivanov in [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
popov b [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
kantardjiev tv [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]

SUMMARY

During a recent large tularemia outbreak in Bulgaria we found several cases that were remote from the main focus. One case had an unusual mode of transmission. A hunter acquired tularemia through a nail scratch from a buzzard (Buteo buteo) and consequently developed a typical ulceroglandular form of the disease. The diagnosis was confirmed by serological methods and successful cultivation. Comparative strain typing was performed by high-resolution multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). The isolated strain was identical to one of the outbreak genotypes. We consider that this case represents a bird-to-human transmission of F. tularensis.

(Accepted July 09 2009)

(Online publication August 10 2009)

Key Words:Bird-to-human transmission; Francisella tularensis; hunter; MLVA; nail scratch

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr P. I. Padeshki, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Microbiology Department, 26 Yanko Sakazov, 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria. (Email: ppadeshki@yahoo.com)


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