Seroprevalence of West Nile virus and tick-borne encephalitis virus in southeastern Turkey: First evidence for tick-borne encephalitis virus infections

ERGÜNAY K., Ozer N., Us D., Ozkul A., Simsek F., Kaynas S., ...More

VECTOR-BORNE AND ZOONOTIC DISEASES, vol.7, no.2, pp.157-161, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/vbz.2006.0574
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.157-161
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


West Nile virus (WNV) and tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) are among the medically important Flaviviruses that cause significant morbidity and mortality in humans. In this study, seroprevalence of WNV and TBEV in sera from two state medical hospitals from the southeastern part of Turkey was investigated. One hundred eighty-one serum samples were evaluated for WNV immunoglobulin G (IgG) by an indirect immunofluorescence test (IIFT) and for IgG antibodies against TBEV by a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit with enhanced sensitivity and specificity. Sera positive for WNV IgG were further analyzed by plaque reduction neutralization assay (PRNA). TBEV IgM was also investigated by ELISA in all seroreactive samples. Of 181 sera, 29 (16%) were positive for WNV IgG by IIFT and 17 of 179 (9.5%) were confirmed by PRNA. Nineteen of 181 (10.5%) sera were detected to have TBEV IgG. Mean titer of TBEV IgG was 43.0 RU/mL (median, 33.9 RU/mL; cutoff: 20 RU/mL). Four samples with WNV IgG antibodies were also positive for TBEV IgG antibodies. TBEV IgM was detected in 9 of 39 (23%) of all seroreactive sera, where IgM positivity were accompanied by IgG for 6 samples. These results suggest the presence of possible human WNV and TBEV infections in southeastern Turkey where vector activity have previously been detected.