Airborne transmission of tularemia in farmers

Scand J Infect Dis. 1985;17(4):371-5. doi: 10.3109/13813458509058777.


In a tularemia epidemic during 1982 in northern Finland, 53 patients showed no peripheral portal of entry for infection or associated lymphadenopathy. Respiratory symptoms were observed in 72% of the patients. 26/38 cases had abnormal chest films. Hilar adenopathy was the most common finding (36%). Four patients did not receive antibiotics; 43 received tetracyclines, 5 streptomycin and 1 cefuroxime and amoxycillin. All patients recovered. 50 patients acquired the infection during common farming activities, such as making fresh hay with a hay-cutter, handling dry hay, threshing, etc. Thus, airborne transmission may be an important source of infection in normal farming activities in endemic areas of tularemia.

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Air Microbiology*
  • Finland
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Tularemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Tularemia / pathology
  • Tularemia / transmission*