Serological evidence of tick-borne encephalitis virus infection in moose and deer in Finland: sentinels for virus circulation

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/159849

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Parasites & Vectors. 2016 Jan 29;9(1):54

Title: Serological evidence of tick-borne encephalitis virus infection in moose and deer in Finland: sentinels for virus circulation
Author: Tonteri, Elina; Jokelainen, Pikka; Matala, Juho; Pusenius, Jyrki; Vapalahti, Olli
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2016-01-29
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/159849
Abstract: Abstract Background The incidence of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in humans has increased in Finland, and the disease has emerged in new foci. These foci have been investigated to determine the circulating virus subtype, the tick host species and the ecological parameters, but countrywide epidemiological information on the distribution of TBEV has been limited. Methods In this study, we screened sera from hunter-harvested wild cervids for the presence of antibodies against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) with a hemagglutination inhibition test. The positive results were confirmed by a neutralisation assay. Results Nine (0.74 %) of 1213 moose, one (0.74 %) of 135 white-tailed deer, and none of the 17 roe deer were found seropositive for TBEV. A close geographical congruence between seropositive cervids and recently reported human TBE cases was observed: nine of the ten seropositive animals were from known endemic areas. Conclusions Our results confirm the local circulation of TBEV in several known endemic areas. One seropositive moose had been shot in an area where human TBE cases have not been reported, suggesting a possible new focus. Moose appear to be a useful sentinel animal for the presence of TBEV in the taiga region.
Rights: Tonteri et al.


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