A newly detected tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) focus in southeastern Sweden: a follow-up study of TBE virus (TBEV) seroprevalence

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Louise Stjernberg, Karin Holmkvist, Johan Berglund
Title: A newly detected tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) focus in southeastern Sweden: a follow-up study of TBE virus (TBEV) seroprevalence
Journal: Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases
Year: 2008
Volume: 40
Issue: 1
Pagination: 4-10
ISSN: 0036-5548
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Health Science (Sektionen för hälsa)
School of Health Science S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.bth.se/hal/
Authors e-mail: lst@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: In 2002, two cases of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) were diagnosed in inhabitants of a tick endemic area on the island of Aspö in southeastern Sweden. During the previous 25 y, only two other cases of TBE had been diagnosed in that region of Sweden. To investigate the presence and evolution of seroprevalence of antibodies to TBE virus (TBEV), we compared inhabitants´ anti-TBEV immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels in blood samples drawn in 1991 and 2002. A significant increase in IgG antibody levels was observed in 24/200 (12.0%) 2002 blood samples compared to 7/200 (3.5%) 1991 samples. However, neutralizing antibodies were detected in only 4 of the two-step enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) IgG positive sera against TBEV, corresponding to a TBEV neutralizing test (NT) prevalence of 2%. Significantly more men than women were seropositive for TBEV antibodies. Compared to other age groups, the greatest increase in TBEV antibody levels was observed in the 20-29 y age group. However, the majority of seropositive samples were from participants >50 y of age. Recommending preventative measures, including vaccination against TBE, to individuals who reside in or regularly visit TBEV endemic areas is suggested.
Subject: Public Health\General
Keywords: tick borne encephalitis, TBE virus, seroprevalence, antibody, neutralizing test, Sweden
Note: Epub 2007 Sep 12.
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