Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is an emerging infection causing CNS infection of various severity. Good knowledge of the incidence in the population and defined risk areas is important in risk communication and vaccination recommendations. The aim of this study was to investigate potential underreporting by retrospectively diagnose TBE among patients with viral CNS infections of unknown etiology in a region with emerging risk areas for TBE, and define variables associated with performed TBE serology at the time of infection. Epidemiological data and microbiological diagnostics of cases with viral CNS infection of unknown etiology treated at departments of infectious diseases and pediatrics in Skåne County during 2000–2012 were investigated. Analyses to evaluate variables associated with performed TBE serology at the time of infection were performed. Retrospective TBE serology was performed on stored blood samples when available. TBE serology was already performed at the time of CNS infection in 193 out of 761 cases. Department, type of clinical manifestation, time period of illness, and whether Borrelia serology had been performed were independent variables associated with having had TBE serology performed or not at the time of illness. Only one of 137 cases, where samples could be retrospectively analyzed for TBE, turned out positive. This study shows a low frequency of TBE sampling among patients with meningoencephalitis in a region with emerging risk for TBE. A higher awareness of TBE as differential diagnosis could contribute to earlier detection of new risk areas and adequate preventive advice to the public.
|European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
|Published - 2023