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REVIEW ARTICLE
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Geographic distribution of Tick-borne encephalitis virus complex


1 Department of Internal Medicine, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon, Republic of Korea
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Seogwipo Medical Center, Jeju-do, Republic of Korea

Correspondence Address:
Jin-Soo Lee,
7-206, Shinheung-Dong, Jung-Gu, Incheon, 400711
Republic of Korea
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.308794

A comprehensive understanding of the geographic distribution of the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) complex is necessary due to increasing transboundary movement and cross-reactivity of serological tests. This review was conducted to identify the geographic distribution of the TBEV complex, including TBE virus, Alkhurma haemorrhagic fever virus, Kyasanur forest disease virus, louping-ill virus, Omsk haemorrhagic fever virus, and Powassan virus. Published reports were identified using PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library. In addition to TBEV complex case-related studies, seroprevalence studies were also retrieved to assess the risk of TBEV complex infection. Among 1406 search results, 314 articles met the inclusion criteria. The following countries, which are known to TBEV epidemic region, had conducted national surveillance studies: Austria, China, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Slovenia, and Slovakia. There were also studies/reports on human TBEV infection from Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Netherland, and Turkey. Seroprevalence studies were found in some areas far from the TBEV belt, specifically Malaysia, Comoros, Djibouti, and Kenya. Kyasanur forest disease virus was reported in southwestern India and Yunnan of China, the Powassan virus in the United States, Canada, and east Siberia, Alkhurma haemorrhagic fever virus in Saudi Arabia and east Egypt, and Louping-ill virus in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and east Siberia. In some areas, the distribution of the TBEV complex overlaps with that of other viruses, and caution is recommended during serologic diagnosis. The geographic distribution of the TBEV complex appears to be wide and overlap of the TBE virus complex with other viruses was observed in some areas. Knowledge of the geographical distribution of the TBEV complex could help avoid cross-reactivity during the serologic diagnosis of these viruses. Surveillance studies can implement effective control measures according to the distribution pattern of these viruses.


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