First documented case of infection with the tick-borne encephalitis virus in Vorarlberg, Austria.

Institut für Hygiene und Sozialmedizin, Universität Innsbruck, Austria.
Wiener klinische Wochenschrift (Impact Factor: 0.79). 07/2001; 113(11-12):454-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present study provides evidence and documentation of the first case of infection with the tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus acquired in the federal state of Vorarlberg (Austria). The area in which the viral infection was discovered lies in the vicinity of Ludesch in the Illvalley (Bludenz district). In order to investigate the current state of immunity to TBE in the Vorarlberg community, a total of 218 representative sera samples taken from donors resident in the districts of this state were investigated for antibody titers (IgG) of TBE. 38% of the samples had antibody titers representative of sufficient patient immunity, with the highest immunity (63%) in persons aged 20-40 years. Donors living in urban areas had a higher percentage of immunity (43%) than those living in rural areas (33%). Further, men were more immune to infection (43%) than women (33%). The lowest level of immunity (18%) to TBE was found in the Bregenzerwald communities. Based on this report, wider criteria for administering TBE vaccines to patients from the Illvalley should be applied, in particular among the elderly and those living in rural areas.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In Österreich gelten weite Regionen als endemische Verbreitungsgebiete für das durch Zecken übertragene Virus der Frühsommer-Meningoenzephalitis (FSMEV). Bisher sind jedoch nur eingeschränkt Daten verfügbar zur Verbreitung, Häufigkeit und Arten von durch Zecken übertragenen Rickettsien. In der vorliegenden Studie wurden Zecken in Neudörfl im Bundesland Burgenland, Österreich auf das Vorkommen und die Häufigkeit von FSMEV und von Rickettsien in Zecken untersucht. Im Juni 2007 wurden insgesamt 306 Zecken gesammelt. Davon gehörten 286 Zecken der Art Ixodes ricinus an. 20 Zecken wurden als Dermacentor spp. identifiziert. Der Nachweis des FSMEV und von Rickettsien erfolgte mittels Polymerase-Kettenreaktion. FSMEV konnte in keiner der Zecken nachgewiesen werden. Insgesamt waren 16/286 Ixodes ricinus positiv auf Rickettsien. Keine der Dermacentor-Zecken zeigte ein positives Ergebnis auf Rickettsien. Die 14 der 16 positiven Proben mit ausreichend DNA für eine Nukleinsäure-Sequenzierung des Citrat-Synthase-Gens ergaben ausschließlich Rickettsia helvetica. In Zecken in einem bekannten FSMEV-Naturherd konnte in mehr als 300 Zecken kein Virus nachgewiesen werden. Es gelang erstmals der Nachweis von Rickettsien in Ixodes ricinus in der untersuchten Region. Bei den nachgewiesenen Rickettsien konnte ausschließlich die Art Rickettsia helvetica identifiziert werden. Large areas of the Central European country Austria are known to be endemic for tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). However, so far only limited data are available for the prevalence, distribution and species composition of rickettsiae of the spotted fever group in Austria. In the present study 306 ticks were collected in summer 2007. Location of sampling was Neudörfl, a known TBEV endemic area in the district of Burgenland in Eastern Austria. 286 ticks belonged to the species Ixodes ricinus and 20 ticks were identified as Dermacentor spp. Detection of TBEV and rickettsial species was done by polymerase chain reaction. We were not able to detect TBEV in any of the ticks examined. However 16 ticks, exclusively of the species Ixodes ricinus showed positive results for rickettsiae. 14 out of 16 rickettsia-positive ticks contains sufficient DNA for a sequence determination. The sequencing of the citrate synthase genes resulted exclusively in the identification of Rickettsia helvetica. The results show that TBEV was not at all or in a low frequency circulating in a known endemic area in summer 2007. However, for the first time the prevalence of 5.7% of Rickettsia helvetica was determined in a tick population in Eastern Austria.
    Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 10/2008; 120:45-48. DOI:10.1007/s00508-008-1074-6 · 0.79 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This report was a first effort to collect existing data on TBE in EU/EFTA countries. The data, covering the period 2000–2010, were collected from different sources using different case definitions, time scales, and spatial units and do not reflect the complete picture and complexity of the epidemiology of this disease. Therefore a number of recommendations were made to improve the surveillance and to increase our understanding of TBE in EU/EFTA countries: to implement the standard EU case definition for TBE; to initiate routine collection of surveillance data from EU countries, to at least NUTS-3 geographical level, and to use data from tick and animal surveys in addition to human cases surveillance to define TBE endemic areas
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: people annually in Europe and Asia. It is endemic in northwestern Croatia and Gorski kotar. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of TBE in forest workers in the Croatian central Posavina and to do the risk factors survey. Specific IgG antibodies against TBE virus were tested in sera of 295 forestry workers and 60 healthy volunteers. Thirteen forestry workers (4.41 %) had specific IgG antibodies to TBE virus, while in the control group were not proven. No statistical differences were found in the distribution of frequency of TBE virus infection in certain forestries and risk factors were not significant, probably due to the small number of positive respondents. However, for certain factors with a higher odds ratio (eg. cutting trees in the forest, afforestation, contact with wild animals, hunting, military service) can be assumed to represent risk factors that should be taken into account in planning protection measures.