Tularaemia in southwest Germany: Three cases of tick-borne transmission
Tularaemia, caused by Francisella tularensis, is an endemic zoonosis frequently occurring in southwest Germany. Since 2005 there is an increase in the number of reported cases of tularaemia in Germany. We report on two cases of ulceroglandular tularaemia and one case of glandular tularaemia that occurred in the summer of 2012 and 2013 in two counties in the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Bacteria were transmitted through tick bites, which to date has only rarely been reported in Germany. Inadequate treatment of the patients and an aggravation of clinical symptoms were caused by a delay between disease onset and the detection of the pathogen. Although contact to or consumption of infected hares are the most often reported transmission routes of tularaemia in Germany, tick-bites should also be taken into account. Health professionals should include Francisella tularensis in the differential diagnosis of patients with fever and/or ulcerative lymphadenopathy following a tick bite.