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Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral infectious disease involving the central nervous system.[1] It may result in meningitis, encephalitis or meningoencephalitis.[1] The number of cases in Europe have increased by almost 400 percent within the last three decades.[2]

Signs and symptoms

After approximately one week from exposure, non-specific symptoms begin. These may include fever, tiredness, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscles pains, which last for about 5 days.[1][2]


The cause is tick-borne encephalitis virus, a type of Flavivirus, which was first isolated in 1937. Three sub-types exist: European or Western, Siberian, and Far-Eastern tick-borne encephalitis virus.[2][3]


TBE is transmitted by the bite of several species of infected woodland ticks, including Ixodes scapularis, I. ricinus and I. persulcatus,[4] or rarely through the non-pasteurized milk of infected cows.[5]


TBEV is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus, contained in a 40 to 60 nanometer spherical, enveloped capsid.[6] The TBEV genome is approximately 11 kilo bases in size, which contains a five-prime cap, a single open reading frame with three prime and five prime UTR, and is without polyadenylation.[6]


Detection of specific antibodies combined with typical signs, is the principal method for diagnosis. In more complicated situations, such as after vaccination, testing for presence of antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid may be necessary.[2]


Vaccines are very effective and available in areas where the disease is common and at travel clinics.[7]


There is currently no specific treatment, measures may involve hospitalization and supportive care based on syndrome severity. [8]


As of 2011, the disease was most common in Central and Eastern Europe, and Northern Asia. About ten to twelve thousand cases are documented a year.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lindquist, Lars; Vapalahti, Olli (2008-05-31). "Tick-borne encephalitis". The Lancet. 371 (9627): 1861–1871. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)60800-4. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 18514730. S2CID 901857.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Factsheet about tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)". European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  3. "Tick-borne Encephalitis (TBE)". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Archived from the original on 17 January 2019. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  4. Dumpis U, Crook D, Oksi J (April 1999). "Tick-borne encephalitis". Clin. Infect. Dis. 28 (4): 882–90. doi:10.1086/515195. PMID 10825054.
  5. CDC Yellow Book Archived 2015-04-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 5 October 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mansfield, K. L.; Johnson, N.; Phipps, L. P.; Stephenson, J. R.; Fooks, A. R.; Solomon, T. (2009-08-01). "Tick-borne encephalitis virus – a review of an emerging zoonosis". Journal of General Virology. 90 (8): 1781–1794. doi:10.1099/vir.0.011437-0. ISSN 0022-1317. PMID 19420159.
  7. Demicheli V, Debalini MG, Rivetti A (2009). Demicheli V (ed.). "Vaccines for preventing tick-borne encephalitis". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD000977. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000977.pub2. PMC 6532705. PMID 19160184.
  8. "Treatment & Prevention | Tick-borne encephalitis | CDC". 28 March 2022. Archived from the original on 7 July 2022. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  9. "Vaccines against tick-borne encephalitis: WHO position paper" (PDF). Relevé Épidémiologique Hebdomadaire. 86 (24): 241–56. 10 June 2011. PMID 21661276. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2021.