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