Field detection of Francisella tularensis

Scand J Infect Dis. 2000;32(3):287-91. doi: 10.1080/00365540050165938.


A field investigation was undertaken following an outbreak of water-borne tularemia in Northern Norway. Francisella tularensis bacterial cellular components were analysed by rapid immunochromatography (RI)-testing, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Water from 1 reservoir, fed from a rapid stream, tested negative. From another reservoir, 2 of a chain of 3 wells tested negative. The third well, at the end of the chain, contained lemming (Lemmus lemmus) carcasses and gave ample proof of F. tularensis contamination. We concluded that the origin of the outbreak was dead, infective lemming carcasses in the water sources. For the various sampling materials, the RI-test proved itself particularly handy and versatile, compared with the ELISA and the PCR.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography / instrumentation
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Francisella tularensis / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tularemia / epidemiology*
  • Tularemia / etiology
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Supply