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Mil. Med. Sci. Lett. (Voj. Zdrav. Listy) 2015, vol. 84(4), p. 186-188
ISSN 0372-7025
Tularemia is an epizootic infection caused by
Francisella tularensis (F. tularensis). Tularemia is
mainly a disease of wild animals that is transmitted
to humans by contaminated environment or ectopar-
asites. Any age, sex, or race is universally susceptible
to infection. Infection is incidental and is usually
a result of interaction with biting or blood-sucking
insects, wild animals, or their environment. F. tularen-
sis is an etiologic agent of tularemia and, with rare
exception, the only disease produced by this genus.
The organism is a small, Gram-negative, pleomor-
phic, nonmotile, nonspore-forming coccobacillus.
It is a strict aerobe that infects the host as a faculta-
tive, intracellular bacterium. The two main biovars,
F. tularensis biovar tularensis (Type A) and F. tu-
larensis biovar holarctica (Type B) exist. Type A
produces the more serious disease in humans with
an untreated fatality rate of approximately 5% and is
found in the North American continent. Type B
produces a milder, often subclinical disease, and is
associated with water or aquatic mammals. Recent
evidence of an increased incidence has been found
in Scandinavian countries, eastern Europe, and
The interest and the increasing need for communi-
cation, exchange of experience and materials, training
in diagnostics and research methods has led to the idea
of creating an international scientific society focusing
on tularemia. Under the umbrella and with active
participation of WHO, a group of scientists has met to
develop this idea. Finally, the non-profit organization
Tularemia International Society (TULISOC) has been
established to facilitate and encourage the assembly,
acquaintance and association of scientists from all
geographical regions engaged in tularemia research,
to foster and encourage discussion and dissemination
of the results of research and related matters of inter-
est in this field and to promote awareness of the field
and of the implications of the research findings. It is
an honor for the Faculty of Military Health Sciences
that one of the scientists working at the Department
of Molecular Pathology and Biology (Dept. Mol.
Pathol. Biol.), Prof. Jiri Stulik, has been nominated
for election to the Vicepresident-Secretary position
of the TULISOC.
The 8th International Conference on Tularemia
was held in the beautiful ,,Grand Hotel 4 Opatijska
cvijeta” which is located in the heart of Opatija,
near the famous Lungomare coastal prome-
nade and next to one of Opatija's most beautiful
gardens – the Angiolina Park just southwest of Rijeka
on the Adriatic coast. The conference was held from
September 28 to October 1, 2015 and has kept past
tradition by maintaining an interdisciplinary
program, that highlighted research efforts on the:
Genomics, Proteomics and Genetics of
Bacterial Physiology, Biochemistry and
Adaptation of Francisella
Cell biology of Francisella
Host response of Francisella
Vaccines, Therapeutics and Diagnostics for
Clinical Disease, Epidemiology, and Ecology
of Tularemia
During the International Conference, 49 lectures
were presented in one lecture hall. Additionally,
the participants could see 91 exhibited posters.
The topics of poster presentation were focused
on questions of highlighted research on tularemia.
Among the chairs of all interdisciplinary sessions,
prof. Jiri Stulik, M.D.,CSc., from Dept. Mol. Pathol.
Biol., Faculty of Military Health Sciences, University
of Defence has opened the first conference session
designated to Genomics, Proteomics, and Genetics
of Francisella with a great interest.
The group of researchers from the Dept. Mol.
Pathol. Biol., Faculty of Military Health Sciences,
University of Defence presented the following
interdisciplinary studies:
Oral presentation:
Fabrik I., Link M., Putzova D., Rehulka P.,
Stulik J.: Proteomic mapping of cell signaling
in dendritic cells during early interaction with
Francisella tularensis
Krocova Z., Kubelkova K., Plzakova L.,
Macela A.: The role of B cells in the course
of F. tularensis infection
Poster presentation:
Pavkova I, Klimentova J., Schmidt M.,
Sheshko V
., Stulik J.: The changes in F
tularensisproteome in response to the
deletion of dsbA-like gene determined by
SILAC approach
Klimentova J., Stulik J.: Francisella
tularensissubsp. holarctica(strain FSC200)
outer membrane nanotubes proteomic
Balonova L., Link M., Dankova V
., Stulik J.:
Analysis of Francisella tularensisprotein O-
glycosylation pathway
Plzakova L., Kubelkova K., Krocova Z.,
Macela A.: Entry of Francisella tularensis
into B cells
A number of meetings were taking place during
the conference dealing with the ongoing and future
scientific cooperations. The representatives of the Dept.
Mol. Pathol. Biol. negotiated the next long-term
cooperation with prof. Santic (University of Rijeka,
Croatia), Dr. Elkins (Food and Drug Administration,
USA), Dr. Mou (The United States Army Medical
Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, USA),
prof. Sjostedt (University of Umea, Sweden),
Dr. Henry (Inserm and Lyon University, France),
prof. Maurin (University of Grenoble, France) and
Dr. Bar-On (The Israel Institute for Biological
Research, Israel). Moreover, the possibilities of mobil-
ity activities of PhD. students and Postdocs supports
were settled and organized within the multilateral
With insight into the past, the first International
Conference on Tularemia was held in Umea, Sweden,
in 1995. The second conference was organized by
Purkyně Military Medical Academy in Hradec
Kralove in 1997. The subsequent conferences have
been organized every three years at venues located
in Europe, or in the United States. The conference
has a rich history of having hosted hundreds of atten-
dees and presenters from academia and from the clinic
and industry. This engagement provides an en-
viroment wherein this interdisciplinary group has
integrated and established relationships within
To conclude, the 8thInternational Conference
on Tularemia has featured new research directions
Kubelkova: Glance Back at the 8th International Conference on Tularemia
and methods for drug and vaccine development.
Moreover, an overreaching goal of the four-day
program of the conference was to provide enviroment
that will serve to promote collaboration among
scientists doing cutting edge research regarding
On behalf of conference attendees, I would
honorably like to thank the Local Organizing
Committee, especially Dr. Marina Santic, Ph.D.
(Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Croatia),
TULISOC, and Scientific Committee for this great
meeting of interesting people from all over the world.
Hopefully the next 9t h International Conference
on Tularemia, which will be held in 2019 (the venue
within the United States will be confirmed), will
promise at least the same outstanding success.
The participants from Faculty of Military Health
Sciences, University of Defence were supported by
Long-term Organization Development Plan 1011
from Ministry of Defence, Czech Republic and
by Grant No. 15-02584S from the Czech Science
1st. Lt RNDr. Klara Kubelkova, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular Pathology and Biology,
Faculty of Military Health Sciences
University of Defence
Trebesska 1575
500 01 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Received 9th August 2015.
Revised 9th August 2015.
Published 4thDecember 2015.
Kubelkova: Glance Back at the 8th International Conference on Tularemia
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