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

  • P. I. PADESHKI (a1), I. N. IVANOV (a1), B. POPOV and T. V. KANTARDJIEV (a1)

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.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr P. I. Padeshki, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Microbiology Department, 26 Yanko Sakazov, 1504Sofia, Bulgaria. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
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