Panciu et al.
Serosurvey of tick-borne encephalitis virus infection in Romania.
Pathogens. 2024;13(3):231. doi:10.3390/pathogens13030231.

In Romania, precise data about TBE are limited. To get more information about the distribution of TBE virus and TBE epidemiology, including subclinical infections, a cross-sectional serosurvey has been conducted in various counties of Romania in 2021/2022. A total of 1,116 serum samples were collected in fifteen different localities in ten counties, and were analyzed by IgM and IgG TBE ELISA, and confirmation was done by neutralization assay.

Overall, the seroprevalence using ELISA testing was 2.3% in six counties, and after NT testing, 0.62% were confirmed positive. All NT-positive samples (7/1,116) were centered at one site in Sibiu County. While seroprevalence in Sibiu County was 4.9%, the seroprevalence was 9.7% at this site.

The authors mentioned that TBE cases in Romania may be misdiagnosed as West Nile encephalitis and vice versa due to antibody cross-reactivity in ELISA assays.

These results confirmed the circulation of TBE virus in Romania, especially in Sibiu County, and showed the need for accurate diagnostic tools and for more awareness and surveillance of TBE in the country.

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