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Epidemiol Infect. 2007 Nov;135(8):1256-65. Epub 2007 Feb 19.

Re-emergence of Francisella tularensis in Germany: fatal tularaemia in a colony of semi-free-living marmosets (Callithrix jacchus).

Author information

1
Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, National Reference Laboratory for Tularaemia, Munich, Germany. wolfsplettstoesser@bundeswehr.org

Abstract

Francisella tularensis was identified as the cause of a die-off which occurred among a colony of semi-free-living common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). During the outbreak 5 out of 62 animals died of tularaemia in a research facility located in the district of Goettingen, Germany. All animals had been born at the facility suggesting an endemic infection. A total of five culture isolates were recovered and characterized as F. tularensis holarctica, biovar I. These cultures represent the first isolates obtained in the Federal Republic of Germany for more than 45 years. The outbreak area shows several geographical and ecological characteristics known to favour long-term presence of F. tularensis. Persistence of the pathogen in the remote region along the former German-German border, continuous re-introduction from eastern European countries after destruction of the 'Iron curtain' or introduction through migrating birds are testable hypotheses which could explain the emergence of tularaemia in this particular region.

PMID:
17306050
PMCID:
PMC2870702
DOI:
10.1017/S0950268807008035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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