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Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus and Louping-Ill Virus May Co-Circulate in Southern Norway

TittelTick-Borne Encephalitis Virus and Louping-Ill Virus May Co-Circulate in Southern Norway
ForfatterYtrehus B, Vainio K, Dudman SG, Gilray J, Willoughby K
EmnerTBE, hjortedyr
KommentarAntistoff mot både TBE-viruset og Louping-ill viruset ble påvist i hjortedyr i Sør-Norge (Farsund). Et hjortedyr fra Nord-Vestlandet (Molde) hadde også antistoff mot TBE-viruset, til tross for at TBE-sykdom fra dette området ikke er rapportert.
SammendragThe European subtype of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV-Eu) and louping-ill virus (LIV) are two closely related tick-borne flaviviruses. However, whereas the first is the cause of one of Europe\\\'s most important zoonoses, the latter most often only causes disease in sheep and grouse. TBEV-Eu is typically found in the forests of central and northeastern Europe, and LIV typically is found in sheep pastures in the British Isles. In the 1980s, however, LIV was isolated from sheep with encephalomyelitis in Norway. In the 1990s, the first cases of human TBEV were also detected in this country, but while Louping-ill in sheep is very rare, the number of human TBEV cases is increasing. No larger investigations of TBEV and/or LIV seroprevalence and distribution in Norway have been published. However, before such studies are initiated, it is pertinent to know if LIV and TBEV are potentially co-circulating. In the current study, we examined if antibodies against LIV and TBEV were found in wild cervids in one location (Farsund) in southern and one location (Molde) in northwestern Norway using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of anti-TBEV immunoglobulin G (IgG) and a hemagglutination inhibition test for anti-LIV IgG. Positive results were confirmed by serum neutralization tests. In Farsund, 22 of 54 cervids had antibodies against TBEV and 8 antibodies against LIV. In Molde, 1 of 64 cervids was confirmed positive for TBEV, whereas none were positive for LIV. This shows that TBEV and LIV may co-circulate in southern Norway and that virus(es) antigenetically very similar to TBEV may be found in northwestern Norway. The latter is intriguing, because the climatic conditions typical of TBEV locations should not be expected this far north.