Tularemia in Bursa, Turkey: 205 cases in ten years

Helvaci S., Gedikoglu S., Akalin H., Oral H. B.

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, vol.16, no.3, pp.271-276, 2000 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1007610724801
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.271-276
  • Keywords: Francisella tularensis, tularemia, waterborne epidemic, FRANCISELLA-TULARENSIS, MICROAGGLUTINATION TEST, ANTIBODIES, DIAGNOSIS, OUTBREAK, DISEASE


Tularemia is a zoonotic disease caused by the coccobacillus F. tularensis. Small epidemics and sporadic cases were seen around Bursa since November 1988. In this study, a total of 205 cases of tularemia were observed. All the cases were diagnosed on clinical, bacteriological and serological grounds. The epidemics were thought to be waterborne. The majority of the patients were young and female. In most of the cases the disease presented itself in oropharyngeal form (83%). Analysing sera from the patients with microagglutination method demonstrated that titers were greater than or equal to 1:160 in approximately 85% of the cases, including the ones in subclinical form. Five of ten patients from who the bacteria was isolated were seronegative. Streptomycin was given to the most of the patients by combining with tetracycline, doxycycline or chloramphenicol. The early administration of these antibiotics (before the third week of disease) was found to be much more effective to resolve the infection. As a result, the main mode of transmission of F. tularensis is waterborne in our region. In our region, tularemia should be considered in differential diagnosis for the cases with fever, tonsillopharyngitis and cervical lymphadenopathy to make an early diagnosis and to design relevant treatment.