Tularaemia in a brown hare (lepus europaeus) in 2013: first case in the netherlands in 60 years

Rijks, J.M.; Kik, M.; Koene, M.G.J.; Engelsma, M.Y.; van Tulden, P.W.; Montizaan, M.G.; Oomen, T.; Spierenburg, M.A.H.; Ijzer, J.; van der Giessen, J.W.B.; Gröne, A.; Roest, H.I.J.


Tularaemia has not been reported in Dutch wildlife since 1953. To enhance detection, as of July 2011, brown hares (Lepus europaeus) submitted for post-mortem examination in the context of non-targeted wildlife disease surveillance, were routinely tested for tularaemia by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica infection was confirmed in a hare submitted in May 2013. The case occurred in Limburg, near the site of the 1953 case. Further surveillance should clarify the significance of this finding.