Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The aim of the current study was to investigate the presence of antibodies against Francisella tularensis in individuals in different occupations that have contact with animals in the Kars region of northeastern Turkey. Materials and methods: A total of 201 blood samples specifically including 103 farmers, 45 clinical veterinarians, 42 butchers, and 11 hunters were analyzed. The results of the study were reported in relation to some sociodemographic features (age, sex, occupation, and experience) of the volunteers. The presence of antibodies was determined by a microagglutination (MA) test. In addition, positive sera were confirmed using an ELISA kit. Results: Fifteen (7.46%) individuals, including fourteen farmers and one clinical veterinarian, were found to be positive for F. tularensis by both MA and ELISA with a titer range of 1/10 to 1/160. The highest seroprevalence rate was observed in farmers (13.59%), followed by clinical veterinarians (2.22%). The occurrence of tularemia was found to increase with age. Conclusion: Though the main route of tularemia outbreaks is water-borne in Turkey, it was determined that people whose occupations bring them into contact with animals are at risk. Similar studies are recommended in order to further clarify the epidemiology of the disease in the northeast of Turkey.


Francisella tularensis, tularemia, occupational groups, seroprevalence

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