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Tick-borne meningoencephalitis

Tick-borne meningoencephalitis
Classification & external resources
ICD-10 A84.
ICD-9 063
DiseasesDB 29274
MeSH D004675

Tick-borne meningoencephalitis or Tick-borne encephalitis is a tick-borne viral infection of the central nervous system affecting humans as well as most other mammals. The virus can infect the brain (encephalitis), the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or both (meningoencephalitis). It is transmitted by the bite of infected deer ticks or (rarely) through the non-pasteurized milk of infected cows. Sexual transmission has been documented in mice with vertical transmission to progeny. Sexual transmission with humans has never been documented.



The responsible virus, Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus (TBEV), is a member of the genus flavivirus. Other close relatives include Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus, Kyasanur forest disease virus, alkhurma virus, louping ill virus and the langat virus.

TBE virus has two subtypes: (a) European subtype (Tick vector: Ixodes ricinus) (b) Far Eastern subtype (Tick vector: Ixodes persulcatus)

Russia and Europe report between 10-12,000 human cases annually.[citation needed] The disease is incurable once manifest, but the virus can be inactived and prevented by vaccination. In humans, the disease is lethal in approximately 1.2% of cases and leaves 15-20% of its survivors with permanent neurological damage.[citation needed] The former Soviet Union did a great deal of research on all tick borne disease including TBE viruses.


The TBE virus may be present in a seronegative strain or subtype. In such cases a marker for TBE infection is elevated IFN-g in CSF.


There are four main catgeories of treatment for TBE:[citation needed]

  • Phosphrenyl, both a therapeutic and prophylactic agent for TBE
  • interferon treatment (like interferon for Hepatitis C)
  • antibiotic treatment for possible tickborne coinfections
  • phytotherapy


Although the TBE virus cannot be eradicated from the body, it can be inactivated.[citation needed] It can also be activated.[citation needed] Unfortunately, certain antibiotics activate the TBE virus while others have no effect. This is important because the TBE virus may be a coinfection with a Borrelia Burgdorferi infection, Lyme disease, which needs treatment with antibiotics.[citation needed] The Russians studied this matter for years and their findings were as follows: gentamicin exerts no activating effect while streptomycin and ten other antibiotics activate the virus.[citation needed] They also found that some herbs inactivated the TBE virus almost completely in mice, as follows: ledum, motherwort and blackcurrant.[citation needed]

Progressive form and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

The TBE virus is a slow virus; it can take decades to become fulminant.[citation needed] This is termed Progressive Form of the TBE Virus (PFTBE). In 1983 in Russia a follow-up study was done of patients with acute TBE 2-22 years later. 68% developed PFTBE, the "overwhelming majority" of these developing ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.[citation needed] The first isolation of a TBE virus connected with ALS was in 1975 when 70% of the ALS cases in Hamburg, Germany were found to have contact with this virus.[citation needed] In 1978, ALS was reproduced in laboratory animals by inoculation of the Schu virus, a TBE flavivirus, taken from the CSF of a patient with ALS.[citation needed] In regard to the sexual and vertical transmission of the TBE virus, it is thought provoking that conjugal and familial ALS have both been documented.[citation needed]


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tick-borne_meningoencephalitis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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