Endemic Tularemia, Sweden, 2003
ABSTRACT Tularemia cases have been reported in Sweden since 1931, but no cyclical patterns can be identified. In 2003, the largest outbreak of tularemia since 1967 occurred, involving 698 cases. Increased reports were received from tularemia-nonendemic areas. Causal factors for an outbreak year and associated geographic distribution are not yet understood.
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ABSTRACT: Tularaemia, caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, is endemic in Sweden and is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of three different genetic typing systems to link a genetic type to the source and place of tularemia infection in Sweden. Canonical single nucleotide polymorphisms (canSNPs), MLVA including five variable number of tandem repeat loci and PmeI-PFGE were tested on 127 F. tularensis positive specimens collected from Swedish case-patients. All three typing methods identified two major genetic groups with near-perfect agreement. Higher genetic resolution was obtained with canSNP and MLVA compared to PFGE; F. tularensis samples were first assigned into ten phylogroups based on canSNPs followed by 33 unique MLVA types. Phylogroups were geographically analysed to reveal complex phylogeographic patterns in Sweden. The extensive phylogenetic diversity found within individual counties posed a challenge to linking specific genetic types with specific geographic locations. Despite this, a single phylogroup (B.22), defined by a SNP marker specific to a lone Swedish sequenced strain, did link genetic type with a likely geographic place. This result suggests that SNP markers, highly specific to a particular reference genome, may be found most frequently among samples recovered from the same location where the reference genome originated. This insight compels us to consider whole-genome sequencing (WGS) as the appropriate tool for effectively linking specific genetic type to geography. Comparing the WGS of an unknown sample to WGS databases of archived Swedish strains maximizes the likelihood of revealing those rare geographically informative SNPs.PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9(11):e112167. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112167 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have whole-genome sequenced a Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica (also known as type B) strain from an outbreak in Sweden in 2013, derived from a privately owned well for drinking water. Copyright © 2015 Alm et al.Genome Announcements 02/2015; 3(1):e01517-14. DOI:10.1128/genomeA.01517-14
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ABSTRACT: The zoonotic disease tularemia is endemic in large areas of the Northern Hemisphere, but research is lacking on patterns of spatial distribution and connections with ecologic factors. To describe the spatial epidemiology of and identify ecologic risk factors for tularemia incidence in Sweden, we analyzed surveillance data collected over 29 years (1984-2012). A total of 4,830 cases were notified, of which 3,524 met all study inclusion criteria. From the first to the second half of the study period, mean incidence increased 10-fold, from 0.26/100,000 persons during 1984-1998 to 2.47/100,000 persons during 1999-2012 (p<0.001). The incidence of tularemia was higher than expected in the boreal and alpine ecologic regions (p<0.001), and incidence was positively correlated with the presence of lakes and rivers (p<0.001). These results provide a comprehensive epidemiologic description of tularemia in Sweden and illustrate that incidence is higher in locations near lakes and rivers.Emerging infectious diseases 01/2015; 21(1):32-9. DOI:10.3201/eid2101.140916 · 7.33 Impact Factor