Send to

Choose Destination
Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2014 Sep;14(9):640-7. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2014.1576.

Autochthonous tick-borne encephalitis virus-seropositive cattle in Belgium: a risk-based targeted serological survey.

Author information

1 Unit for Coordination of Veterinary Diagnosis, Epidemiology and Risk Assessment (CVD-ERA), Operational Directorate of Interactions and Surveillance, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (VAR-CODA-CERVA) , Brussels, Belgium .


The risk of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) introduction into Belgium remains high, and the presence of infected wildlife in Belgium is suspected. Domestic animals can serve as excellent sentinels for TBEV surveillance to install an early warning surveillance component for this emerging zoonotic disease of public health importance. In a targeted, risk-based and cross-sectional sampling design, serological screening was performed on Belgian cattle (n=650), selected from the 2010 Belgian national cattle surveillance serum bank. All samples were subjected to a gold standard TBEV seroneutralization test (SNT), based on the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT) protocol. Seventeen bovines were seropositive (titer >1/15) and six had borderline results (1/10 < titer < 1/15). The accuracy of the RFFIT-SNT was confirmed in a mouse inoculation test. The overall bovine TBEV seroprevalence in the targeted area was estimated between 2.61% and 4.29%. This confirms for the first time the presence of infected foci in Belgium. Further surveillance in cattle, other sentinels, ticks, and humans at risk is recommended to further determine the location and size of endemic foci and the risk for public health.


Bovine; Cattle; Endemic focus.; Rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT); Sentinel; Seroneutralization test (SNT); TBE(V); Tick-borne encephalitis (virus)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center