Publications and scientific papers of Pasteur Institute…
Banović, Pavle; Díaz-Sánchez, Adrian Alberto; Đurić, Selena; Sević, Siniša; Turkulov, Vesna; Lendak, Dajana; Mikić, Sandra Stefan; Simin, Verica; Mijatović, Dragana; Bogdan, Ivana; Potkonjak, Aleksandar; Savić, Sara; Obregón, Dasiel; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro
In: Pathogens, 2022.
The tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) causes a life-threatening disease named Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). The clinical symptoms associated with TBE range from non-specific to severe inflammation of the central nervous system and are very similar to the clinical presentation of other viral meningitis/encephalitis. In consequence, TBE is often misclassified by clinical physicians , mainly in the non-identified high-risk areas where none or only a few TBE cases have been reported. Considering this situation, we hypothesized that among persons from northern Serbia who recovered from viral meningitis or encephalitis, there would be evidence of TBEV infection. To test this hypothesis, in this observational study, we evaluated the seroreactivity against TBEV anti-gens in patients from northern Serbia who were hospitalized due to viral meningitis and/or viral encephalitis of unknown etiology. Three cases of seroreactivity to TBEV antigens were discovered among convalescent patients who recovered from viral meningitis and/or encephalitis and accepted to participate in the study (n = 15). The clinical and laboratory findings of these patients overlap with that of seronegative convalescent patients. Although TBE has been a notifiable disease in Serbia since 2004, there is no active TBE surveillance program for the serologic or molecular screening of TBEV infection in humans in the country. This study highlights the necessity to increase the awareness of TBE among physicians and perform active and systematic screening of TBEV antibodies among patients with viral meningitis and/or encephalitis.
Banović, Pavle; Obregon, Dasiel; Mijatović, Dragana; Simin, Verica; Stankov, Srđan; Turkulov, Vesna; Sević, Siniša; Budakov-Obradovic, Zorana; Bujandric, Nevenka; Grujic, Jasmina; Díaz-Sánchez, Adrian Alberto; Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro
In: Pathogens, vol. 10, 2021.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), caused by the TBE virus (TBEV), is a life-threatening disease
with clinical symptoms ranging from non-specific to severe inflammation of the central nervous
system. Despite TBE is a notifiable disease in Serbia since 2004, there is no active TBE surveillance
program for the serologic or molecular screening of TBEV infection in humans in the country. This
prospective cohort study aimed to assess the TBEV exposure among tick-infested individuals in
Serbia during the year 2020. A total of 113 individuals exposed to tick bites were recruited for the
study and screened for anti-TBEV antibodies using a commercial indirect fluorescent antibody test
(IFA) test. Blood samples from 50 healthy donors not exposed to tick bites were included as a control
group. Most of the enrolled patients reported infestations with one tick, being I. ricinus the most
frequent tick found in the participants. The TBEV seroprevalence was higher (13.27%, 15 total 113)
in tick-infested individuals than in healthy donors (4%, 2 total 50), although the difference was
not significant. Notably, male individuals exposed to tick bites showed five times higher relative
risk (RR) of being TBEV-seropositive than healthy donors of the same gender (RR= 5.1, CI = 1.6–19;
p = 0.007). None of the seropositive individuals developed clinical manifestations of TBE, but the first
clinical-stage of Lyme borreliosis (i.e., erythema migrans) was detected in seven of them. Potential
TBEV foci were identified in rural areas, mostly in proximity or within the Fruška Gora mountain.
We conclude that the Serbian population is at high risk of TBEV exposure. Further epidemiological
studies should focus on potential TBEV foci identified in this study. The implementation of active
surveillance for TBEV might contribute to evaluating the potential negative impact of TBE in Serbia.