A comparative study of the antibody titer against Francisella tularensis biovar palaearctica in serum and lung extract was made using different immunoassays. Samples were taken from experimentally-infected goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) and European beavers (Castor fiber), and in a held survey of wild beavers. Good accordance between the antibody titer in serum and in lung extract was found in the experimental studies. However, the antibody titer was generally one- to three-fold lower in lung extract than was the titer of serum. Results in the field survey were less reliable. Estimating antibody titer in lung extract is a practical method for surveys for antibody levels, and an alternative to serological surveys, despite lower sensitivity as compared to serum.
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