Tick-borne encephalitis virus, United Kingdom

Maya Holding, Stuart Dowall, Jolyon Medlock, Daniel P. Carter, Steven Pullan, James Lewis, Richard Vipond, Mara S. Rocchi, Matthew Baylis, Roger Hewson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During February 2018-January 2019, we conducted large-scale surveillance for the presence and prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and louping ill virus (LIV) in sentinel animals and ticks in the United Kingdom. Serum was collected from 1,309 deer culled across England and Scotland. Overall, 4% of samples were ELISA-positive for the TBEV serocomplex. A focus in the Thetford Forest area had the highest proportion (47.7%) of seropositive samples. Ticks collected from culled deer within seropositive regions were tested for viral RNA; 5 of 2,041 ticks tested positive by LIV/TBEV real-time reverse transcription PCR, all from within the Thetford Forest area. From 1 tick, we identified a full-length genomic sequence of TBEV. Thus, using deer as sentinels revealed a potential TBEV focus in the United Kingdom. This detection of TBEV genomic sequence in UK ticks has important public health implications, especially for undiagnosed encephalitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-96
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2019

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