Dollat et al.
Knowledge and vaccination practices among family physicians in northeastern France
Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2021; 12:101774. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2021.101774

In France, the number of reported TBE cases has increased in recent years, particularly in areas located in northeastern regions bordering Germany. In Franche-Comte, an area in northeastern France bordering Switzerland, only a few cases have so far been reported, although seroprevalence studies in non-vaccinated forest workers showed a TBE seroprevalence of about 3.4%.

Family physicians (FPs) are in direct contact with the local population and should be well informed about epidemiology of infectious diseases present in the area where they work. They play an important role in promoting appropriate preventive measures. In this context, an observational study using standard online questionnaires has been carried out in Franche-Comte to assess FPs’ knowledge and vaccination practices for TBE.

The response rate was about 15%. Most of the participating FPs reported 10 to 50 consultations for tick bites per year and 83% of them were working in rural areas. A total of 81% of the FPs declared having some knowledge about TBE, but only 20% were at ease with its clinical symptomatology. One third of the FPs reported that they performed TBE vaccination – in 32% of the vaccinations the reason was travelling to TBE endemic areas in Central Europe, in 29% due to professional exposure, in 26% because of leisure outdoor activities and in 13% due to travelling to TBE areas in Central Asia. A total of 68% of the FPs did not propose TBE vaccination to their patients.

In total, this study showed a significant lack of knowledge about TBE among the FPs in Franche-Comte.

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