A new hot spot for tick-borne encephalitis (TBE): A marked increase of TBE cases in France in 2016.


OBJECTIVES Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a zoonotic agent causing severe encephalitis. In 2016, in Northeastern France, we faced a TBEV infection increase, leading to a warning from the Regional Health Agency. Here, we report the confirmed TBE cases diagnosed between January 2013 and December 2016, with particular emphasis on the year 2016. METHODS A total of 1643 blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from everywhere in France, corresponding to 1460 patients, were prospectively tested for anti-TBEV-specific IgM and IgG antibodies by ELISA. Additional 39 blood and CSF samples from patients with suspected Lyme neuroborreliosis were retrospectively investigated. RESULTS The TBEV seropositivity rate was estimated to 5.89% and 54 patients were diagnosed as TBE-confirmed cases. A significant increase in TBE cases was observed during the year 2016 with 29 confirmed cases, instead of a mean of eight cases during the three previous years (p=0.0006). Six imported cases and 48 autochthonous cases, located in the Alsace region (n=43) and in the Alpine region (n=5) were reported. Forty-six patients experienced neurological impairment. Nine patients showed an incomplete recovery at last follow-up (from 15days to eight months post-infection). TBE diagnosis was performed earlier for patients taken in charge in the Alsace region than those hospitalized elsewhere in France (p=0.0087). Among the 39 patients with suspected Lyme neuroborreliosis retrospectively investigated, one showed a TBEV recent infection. CONCLUSION The TBE increase that occurred in France in 2016 highlights the need to improve our knowledge about the true burden of TBEV infection and subsequent long-term outcomes.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.09.015

Cite this paper

@article{Velay2018ANH, title={A new hot spot for tick-borne encephalitis (TBE): A marked increase of TBE cases in France in 2016.}, author={Aur{\'e}lie Velay and Morgane Solis and Wallys Kack-Kack and Pierre Gantner and Marianne Maquart and M Martinot and Olivier Augereau and Dominique A de Briel and Pierre Kieffer and Caroline Lohmann and Jean Dominique Poveda and Emmanuelle Cart-Tanneur and Xavier Argemi and Isabelle Leparc-Goffart and Sylvie Josiane De Martino and Beno{\^i}t Jaulhac and Sophie Raguet and Marie-Jos{\'e}e Wendling and Yves Hansmann and Samira Fafi-Kremer}, journal={Ticks and tick-borne diseases}, year={2018}, volume={9 1}, pages={120-125} }