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Revealing new tick-borne encephalitis virus foci by screening antibodies in sheep milk
Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Molekylär Infektionsmedicin, Sverige (MIMS).
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2020 (Engelska)Ingår i: Parasites & Vectors, E-ISSN 1756-3305, Vol. 13, nr 1, artikel-id 185Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Tick distribution in Sweden has increased in recent years, with the prevalence of ticks predicted to spread towards the northern parts of the country, thus increasing the risk of tick-borne zoonoses in new regions. Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is the most significant viral tick-borne zoonotic disease in Europe. The disease is caused by TBE virus (TBEV) infection which often leads to severe encephalitis and myelitis in humans. TBEV is usually transmitted to humans via tick bites; however, the virus can also be excreted in the milk of goats, sheep and cattle and infection may then occur via consumption of unpasteurised dairy products. Virus prevalence in questing ticks is an unreliable indicator of TBE infection risk as viral RNA is rarely detected even in large sample sizes collected at TBE-endemic areas. Hence, there is a need for robust surveillance techniques to identify emerging TBEV risk areas at early stages.

Methods

Milk and colostrum samples were collected from sheep and goats in orebro County, Sweden. The milk samples were analysed for the presence of TBEV antibodies by ELISA and validated by western blot in which milk samples were used to detect over-expressed TBEV E-protein in crude cell extracts. Neutralising titers were determined by focus reduction neutralisation test (FRNT). The stability of TBEV in milk and colostrum was studied at different temperatures.

Results

In this study we have developed a novel strategy to identify new TBEV foci. By monitoring TBEV antibodies in milk, we have identified three previously unknown foci in orebro County which also overlap with areas of TBE infection reported during 2009-2018. In addition, our data indicates that keeping unpasteurised milk at 4 degrees C will preserve the infectivity of TBEV for several days.

Conclusions

Altogether, we report a non-invasive surveillance technique for revealing risk areas for TBE in Sweden, by detecting TBEV antibodies in sheep milk. This approach is robust and reliable and can accordingly be used to map TBEV "hotspots". TBEV infectivity in refrigerated milk was preserved, emphasising the importance of pasteurisation (i.e. 72 degrees C for 15 s) prior to consumption.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
BMC , 2020. Vol. 13, nr 1, artikel-id 185
Nyckelord [en]
Tick-borne encephalitis virus, Flavivirus, Tick-borne encephalitis, Hotspot, TBE virus foci, Sweden, Milk, Pasteurisation, Alimentary TBE virus transmission
Nationell ämneskategori
Infektionsmedicin
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-171443DOI: 10.1186/s13071-020-04030-4ISI: 000526570500001PubMedID: 32268924Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85083113878OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-171443DiVA, id: diva2:1435919
Tillgänglig från: 2020-06-05 Skapad: 2020-06-05 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-01-17Bibliografiskt granskad

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Lindquist, RichardÖverby, Anna K.

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Lindquist, RichardÖverby, Anna K.Johansson, Magnus
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