10th International Conference on Tularemia

Tularemia is a rapidly progressive and potentially fatal zoonosis of humans caused by the intracellular bacterial pathogen, Francisella tularensis. Because of its low infectious dose and lethality when inhaled, F. tularensis was developed as a bioweapon by three countries, and remains a potential bioterroist agent. Research and understanding of tularemia pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention have been significantly advanced by the International Conferences on Tularemia, the first of which was held in Umea, Sweden in 1995. Attendance and impact of this triennial series of meetings has grown steadily in subsequent years. At present, this conference is a unique venue that brings together scientists and interested parties from the U.S., Canada, Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, and Japan.

Advancing development of medical countermeasures is an explicit goal of this meeting. Research scientists, clinicians, and trainees at all levels attend; attendees with knowledge and interests outside the Francisella community per se also bring perspective and instructive comparisons. To advance scientific research and promote public health, the conference is designed to provide an environment that fosters collaboration and a free exchange of ideas. Highlights from past meetings include announcing the discoveries of

  • the Francisella pathogenicity island (FPI);
  • the Type VI secretion system encoded by the FPI;
  • development of new animal models; detailed genomic and proteomic characterizations that inform epidemiology of disease and development of new therapeutic options;
  • identification of immune evasion strategies of the bacterium that advance vaccine development

Tularemia International Society

The interest and the increasing need for communication, exchange of experience and materials, and training in diagnostics and research methods has led to the idea of creating an international scientific society focusing on Tularemia.

Under the umbrella and with active participation of WHO, a group of scientists has met twice in Berlin at the Robert Koch-Institut in 2008/2009 to develop this idea. Finally, the 6th International Conference on Tularemia which was held at Charité, Berlin, from 13 to 16 September 2009 was used to establish the a non-profit organisation: TULAREMIA INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY – with the abbreviations TULISOC. The society is incorporated as a 501 c 3 not-for-profit charity with the tax ID number: 81-4335992.

TULISOC intends to:

  • facilitate and encourage the assembly, acquaintance and association of scientists from all geographical regions engaged in tularaemia research;
  • foster and encourage discussion and dissemination of the results of research and related matters of interest in this field;
  • provide a means to convene appropriate specialists that will serve as a ready resource in the case of specific needs and emergencies;
  • promote awareness of the field and of the implications of the research findings;
  • promote education and training in the field.


The International Conferences fulfill a major purpose of the Tularemia International Society, namely to facilitate the assembly, acquaintance, and association of scientists engaged in tularemia research.  Tularemia meetings focus on fundamental, clinical, and applied research regarding any aspect of Francisella tularensis.  Research uncovers not only the biology of this fascinating bacterium, but also provides the basis for future development of treatments, preventive interventions, and disease diagnosis.


The most recent, 9th International Conference was held from October 16-19, 2018, in Montreal, Candada and kept with past traditions by maintaining an interdisciplinary program.  The meeting highlighted research efforts on the pathogenesis, cell biology, pathogenesis, animal models, diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, clinical features, ecology, epidemiology, and host responses to Francisella.  An overreaching goal of the three day program was to provide an environment that will serve to promote connections and collaboration among scientists doing cutting edge research regarding Francisella.

Please view the online, interactive final program, search authors, titles, and keywords. The final program was designed to reflect the most current and exciting science.  The vast majority of speakers were drawn from submitted abstracts.  To provide networking opportunities in a collegial setting, a strong program of networking and social events were organized.

Tularemia 2018 Organizing Committee:

  • Karen Elkins, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), FDA, Silver Spring, USA (Co-Chair)
  • Catharine (Katy) Bosio, NIAID, Rocky Mountain Labs, Hamilton, Montana, USA (Co-Chair)
  • Lee-Ann Allen, University of Iowa, USA
  • Wayne Conlan, National Research Council, Canada Canada (ex officio as TULISOC President)
  • Roberto De Pascalis, CBER / FDA, USA
  • Jason Huntley, University of Toledo, USA
  • Tom Kawula, Washington State University, USA
  • Karl Klose, University of Texas-San Antonio, USA
  • Max Maurin, Université Grenoble Alpes, France
  • Petra Oyston, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, United Kingdom
  • Jeannine Petersen, Centers for Disease Control, USA
  • Marina Santic, University of Rijeka, Croatia
  • Jiri Stulik, University of Defence , Czech Republic

Working session and abstract submission topics:

  • Human Infections and Treatment;
  • Epidemiology and Ecology;
  • Host Response and  Immunity;
  • Vaccines;
  • Bacteriology, gene regulation, stress;
  • Pathogenesis and Cell Biology