Francisella tularensis in Swedish predators and scavengers

G. Hestvik*, H. Uhlhorn, M. Koene, S. Åkerström, A. Malmsten, F. Dahl, P.A. Åhlén, A.M. Dalin, D. Gavier-Widén

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Tularaemia is a zoonotic disease, in Europe caused by Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica. Many lagomorphs and a variety of small rodents are wildlife species prone to develop clinical disease, while predators and scavengers are relatively resistant and may serve as sentinels. Blood samples from 656 Swedish wild predators and scavengers were serologically investigated using slide agglutination and microagglutination. In the slide agglutination test, 34 seropositive animals were detected, and they were found among all species investigated: brown bear (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), wild boar (Sus scrofa), wolf (Canis lupus) and wolverine (Gulo gulo). Due to haemolysis the microagglutination test was more difficult to read at low titres, and only 12 animals were classified as seropositive. F. tularensis subsp. holarctica was detected by a polymerase chain reaction in lymphatic tissues of the head in one brown bear, one red fox and one wolf. The significance of this finding regarding possible latency of infection is not clear. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that all predator and scavenger species included in this study may serve as sentinels for tularaemia in Sweden. Their role as reservoirs is unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e293
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume147
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2019

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Francisella tularensis
Lynx
Ursidae
Raccoon Dogs
Mustelidae
Tularemia
Sus scrofa
Lagomorpha
Agglutination Tests
Agglutination
Zoonoses
Lymphoid Tissue
Hemolysis
Sweden
Rodentia
Head
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Infection
cyhalothrin

Keywords

  • Agglutination
  • predator
  • serology
  • tularaemia
  • wildlife

Cite this

Hestvik, G., Uhlhorn, H., Koene, M., Åkerström, S., Malmsten, A., Dahl, F., ... Gavier-Widén, D. (2019). Francisella tularensis in Swedish predators and scavengers. Epidemiology and Infection, 147, e293. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268819001808
Hestvik, G. ; Uhlhorn, H. ; Koene, M. ; Åkerström, S. ; Malmsten, A. ; Dahl, F. ; Åhlén, P.A. ; Dalin, A.M. ; Gavier-Widén, D. / Francisella tularensis in Swedish predators and scavengers. In: Epidemiology and Infection. 2019 ; Vol. 147. pp. e293.
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abstract = "Tularaemia is a zoonotic disease, in Europe caused by Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica. Many lagomorphs and a variety of small rodents are wildlife species prone to develop clinical disease, while predators and scavengers are relatively resistant and may serve as sentinels. Blood samples from 656 Swedish wild predators and scavengers were serologically investigated using slide agglutination and microagglutination. In the slide agglutination test, 34 seropositive animals were detected, and they were found among all species investigated: brown bear (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), wild boar (Sus scrofa), wolf (Canis lupus) and wolverine (Gulo gulo). Due to haemolysis the microagglutination test was more difficult to read at low titres, and only 12 animals were classified as seropositive. F. tularensis subsp. holarctica was detected by a polymerase chain reaction in lymphatic tissues of the head in one brown bear, one red fox and one wolf. The significance of this finding regarding possible latency of infection is not clear. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that all predator and scavenger species included in this study may serve as sentinels for tularaemia in Sweden. Their role as reservoirs is unclear.",
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Hestvik, G, Uhlhorn, H, Koene, M, Åkerström, S, Malmsten, A, Dahl, F, Åhlén, PA, Dalin, AM & Gavier-Widén, D 2019, 'Francisella tularensis in Swedish predators and scavengers', Epidemiology and Infection, vol. 147, pp. e293. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268819001808

Francisella tularensis in Swedish predators and scavengers. / Hestvik, G.; Uhlhorn, H.; Koene, M.; Åkerström, S.; Malmsten, A.; Dahl, F.; Åhlén, P.A.; Dalin, A.M.; Gavier-Widén, D.

In: Epidemiology and Infection, Vol. 147, 22.10.2019, p. e293.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Hestvik, G.

AU - Uhlhorn, H.

AU - Koene, M.

AU - Åkerström, S.

AU - Malmsten, A.

AU - Dahl, F.

AU - Åhlén, P.A.

AU - Dalin, A.M.

AU - Gavier-Widén, D.

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KW - predator

KW - serology

KW - tularaemia

KW - wildlife

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DO - 10.1017/S0950268819001808

M3 - Article

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JO - Epidemiology and Infection

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SN - 0950-2688

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