Changes to tularemia testing program in 2016

Since 2011 all hares submitted to the Dutch Wildlife Health Centre (DWHC) for post-mortem investigation have also been tested for the presence of talremia bacteria by the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI). These extra tests were necessary in order to monitor the occurrence of tularemia in the Netherlands. As the tests can be performed on frozen tissue the DWHC, with funding provided by the CVI, has been accepting and collecting partially non-fresh or frozen animals.

As of January 1st 2016 the DWHC will no longer be collecting non-fresh (i.e. dead for more than 24 hours) and / or frozen hares that are not suitable for post-mortem investigation. In order to generate useful results, fresh cadavers should be cooled until they can be collected. If tularemia is suspected based on the macroscopic lesions and the appearance of tissues under the microscope, material from these animals will be submitted to the CVI for further testing for the presence of F. tularensis.