Thesis defence by Maria Furberg (UmU) on “Increased seroprevalence of tularemia in Northern Sweden”, 18 November 2016

Maria Furberg (Dept. of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Dept. of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University) will defend her thesis “Towards the limits – Climate Change Aspects of Life and Health in Northern Sweden. Studies of tularemia and regional experiences of changes in the environment.” 18 November 2016 at 9 a.m. in Sal A 9th floor, Tandläkarhögskolan.

Opponent: Professor Peter Friberg, Dept. of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg.
Main supervisor: Maria Nilsson, Dept. of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.

Short background and main findings:

Climate change is occurring at twice the global average rate in the Arctic regions of the world and indigenous people with traditional lifestyles as well as vector-borne infectious diseases are considered particularly climate sensitive. This thesis investigates changes to weather and climate in northernmost Sweden and how these changes affect the Swedish reindeer herding Sami. The Swedish epidemic of tularemia is investigated showing a tenfold increase in incidence over thirty years and a correlation to ecoregions and water. A tularemia case-control study in northernmost Sweden also showed a correlation to water. A tularemia seroprevalence investigation in the counties of Norrbotten and Västerbotten revealed a seroprevalence of 3% corresponding to 16 times more cases than reported, indicating a substantial burden of hidden disease.

Link to press release about the thesis (in Swedish)