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Antiviral Res. 2003 Jan;57(1-2):129-46.

Tick-borne encephalitis.

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CEH Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology, Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3SR, UK.


Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is one of the most dangerous human infections occurring in Europe and many parts of Asia. The etiological agent Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), is a member of the virus genus Flavivirus, of the family Flaviviridae. TBEV is believed to cause at least 11,000 human cases of encephalitis in Russia and about 3000 cases in the rest of Europe annually. Related viruses within the same group, Louping ill virus (LIV), Langat virus (LGTV) and Powassan virus (POWV), also cause human encephalitis but rarely on an epidemic scale. Three other viruses within the same group, Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus (OHFV), Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV) and Alkhurma virus (ALKV), are closely related to the TBEV complex viruses and tend to cause fatal hemorrhagic fevers rather than encephalitis. This review describes the clinical manifestations associated with TBEV infections, the main molecular-biological properties of these viruses, and the different factors that define the incidence and severity of disease. The role of ticks and their local hosts in the emergence of new virus variants with different pathogenic characteristics is also discussed. This review also contains a brief history of vaccination against TBE including trials with live attenuated vaccine and modern tendencies in developing of vaccine virus strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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