[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is the aetiological agent of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), a potentially fatal central nervous system infection of humans. TBE is endemic in many areas of Europe and Asia; however, very scarce data on TBEV activity are available from Turkey. We aimed to identify TBEV exposure in healthy blood donors and the impact of TBEV in central nervous system infections in Central/Northern Anatolia. Two-thousand four hundred and fifty four sera, collected from blood donors at Ankara, Konya, Eskişehir and Zonguldak branches of the Turkish Red Crescent Middle Anatolia Regional Blood Center, were analysed for TBEV serosurveillance. Paired serum and cerebrospinal fluid samples from 108 patients with the diagnosis of aseptic meningitis/encephalitis of unknown aetiology were also evaluated to identify TBE and neuroborreliosis cases. Commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and indirect immunofluorescence tests were employed for antibody detection. Forty-seven donor samples (1.9%) were reactive for TBEV IgG. In 25 persons with IgG reactivity (53.1%), risk factors for tick-borne infections were revealed. One sample from Zonguldak province (1/198; 0.5%) in the Black Sea region of Turkey was confirmed to possess neutralizing antibodies via plaque reduction neutralization test. TBEV IgM was detected in 9.2% (8/108) of the patients. IgM was accompanied by IgG reactivity in two persons where, in one, recent history of a tick bite was also identified. Intrathecal antibody production for TBEV could not be demonstrated. No evidence for Borrelia infections could be found. Confirmed exposure to TBEV and/or an antigenically similar tick-borne flavivirus is documented for the first time in blood donors in Zonguldak in Northern Anatolia. Probable cases of TBE have also been identified from Central Anatolia. The epidemiology of TBEV activity in Turkey needs to be assessed and benefits of vaccination for general population, risk groups or travellers must be considered.
Zoonoses and Public Health 05/2011; 58(3):220-7. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sandfly fever viruses (SFVs) cause febrile diseases as well as aseptic meningitis/encephalitis and include serotypes sandfly fever Sicilian virus (SFSV), sandfly fever Naples virus (SFNV) and Toscana virus (TOSV). Infections are endemic in the Mediterranean basin and data on SFV activity in Turkey are limited. In this study, sera from 1533 blood donors from the Ankara, Konya, Eskisehir and Zonguldak provinces of Turkey were evaluated for SFV exposure by indirect immunofluorescence test (IIFT) and confirmed by virus neutralization test (VNT). One hundred and two patients with central nervous system (CNS) infections of unknown aetiology were also tested via IIFT and real-time reverse-transcription PCR for SFV/TOSV. Rate of overall IgG reactivity in IIFT was 32.9% (505/1533) among blood donors. TOSV exposure was confirmed by VNT in all study regions. Exposure to the recently-identified serotype sandfly fever Turkish virus, as evaluated by VNT, was revealed in Konya and Ankara. SFNV exposure was identified in Konya and SFSV was observed to be present in all regions except Zonguldak. TOSV RNA was detected in 15.7% (16/102) and was accompanied by TOSV IgM in 25% (4/16) of the patients. Partial L and S sequences suggested that TOSV circulating in Turkey can be grouped into TOSV genotype A strains. Exposure to TOSV and other SFV serotypes was revealed in blood donors and CNS infections by TOSV were identified for the first time in Turkey. Infections are observed to be endemic in central Anatolia and should be considered as aetiologic agents in cases/outbreaks of fever and meningoencephalitis.
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 04/2011; 17(4):575-81. · 4.58 Impact Factor