In one study, the Francisella tularenis bacterium was analyzed in infected people and animals during repeated outbreaks in Örebro, Sweden. It was then discovered that the bacterial genome remained identical for up to nine years. Furthermore, the bacterium could survive for four years without nutrition in a laboratory experiment.
While there have been a number of attempts to develop a vaccine for Francisella tularensis, few candidates have advanced beyond experiments in inbred mice.
It has not been reported how the individual contracted the bacterial infection.
The risk of contracting tularemia in Germany primarily affects professionals with high exposure to infected animals like hunters, people working in forests and gardens, or people who travel to regions where the disease is endemic.
The Wyoming Department of Health is reminding Teton County residents and others across the state to take steps to prevent tularemia after an infected animal was found recently in the Wilson area.
Researchers describe a cluster of cases of oropharyngeal tularemia that appears to have been caused by the consumption of freshly pressed grape must by grape harvesters volunteering at a vineyard in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, in October 2016.
The Larimer County, Colorado, resident who was found to have tularemia developed a lung infection and may have been exposed to contaminated soil while gardening at home.
Outbreaks of tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, have been reported in the northen Czech city Ceska Lipa and its neighborhood area, Dubice and Dolni Libchava.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has confirmed a human case of tularemia tied to rabbit exposure in Cook County.
Researchers found that F. tularensis tricks host cell mitochondria, which produce energy for the cell, in two different phases of infection.