Tularaemia in an emergent area in Sweden: an analysis of 234 cases in five years

Scand J Infect Dis. 2007;39(10):880-9. doi: 10.1080/00365540701402970.


A retrospective study of clinical tularaemia in an emergent area in Sweden is presented. 234 patients seen during the y 2000-2004 were studied, using case files and a questionnaire. There was a predominance of ulceroglandular tularaemia (89%), occurring in late summer and early autumn, reflecting the dominance of mosquito-borne transmission. The incubation period varied from a few hours to 11 d, with a median of 3 d. Cutaneous manifestations of tularaemia, apart from primary lesions, were noted in 43% of the cases. Coughing was common, even in patients with ulceroglandular tularaemia, supporting the view that haematogenous spread to the respiratory system occurs. Regular laboratory tests, such as WBC, ESR and C-reactive protein, were in general only moderately elevated. In the earlier y studied, the Doctor's Delay was substantial as was the misdiagnosis and prescription of inadequate antibiotics. In the later y, however, the delay and misdiagnosis were significantly lower, reflecting the increased recognition of the disease by the physicians in the area. A few relapses occurred, all in patients treated with doxycycline. No lethality was seen, reflecting the benign course of tularaemia type B infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / microbiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging* / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Francisella tularensis* / classification
  • Francisella tularensis* / genetics
  • Francisella tularensis* / immunology
  • Francisella tularensis* / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Lymphatic Diseases / microbiology
  • Lymphatic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Skin Ulcer / microbiology
  • Skin Ulcer / physiopathology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Tularemia* / diagnosis
  • Tularemia* / epidemiology
  • Tularemia* / microbiology
  • Tularemia* / physiopathology