Tularemia on martha's vineyard: Seroprevalence and occupational risk

Katherine A. Feldman, Donna Stiles-Enos, Kathleen Julian, Bela T. Matyas, Sam R. Telford, May C. Chu, Lyle R. Petersen, Edward B. Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations


We conducted a serosurvey of landscapers to determine if they were at increased risk for exposure to Francisella tularensis and to determine risk factors for infection. In Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, landscapers (n=132) were tested for anti-F. tularensis antibody and completed a questionnaire. For comparison, serum samples from three groups of nonlandscaper Martha's Vineyard residents (n=103, 99, and 108) were tested. Twelve landscapers (9.1%) were seropositive, compared with one person total from the comparison groups (prevalence ratio 9.0; 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 68.1; p=0.02). Of landscapers who used a power blower, 15% were seropositive, compared to 2% who did not use a power blower (prevalence ratio 9.2; 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 69.0; p=0.02). Seropositive landscapers worked more hours per week mowing and weed-whacking and mowed more lawns per week than their seronegative counterparts. Health-care workers in tularemia-endemic areas should consider tularemia as a diagnosis for landscapers with a febrile illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-354
Number of pages5
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Feldman, K. A., Stiles-Enos, D., Julian, K., Matyas, B. T., Telford, S. R., Chu, M. C., ... Hayes, E. B. (2003). Tularemia on martha's vineyard: Seroprevalence and occupational risk. Emerging infectious diseases, 9(3), 350-354. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid0903.020462