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Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus, Kyrgyzstan | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 17, Number 5–May 2011

Volume 17, Number 5–May 2011
Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus, Kyrgyzstan
Benjamin J. Briggs, Barry Atkinson, Donna M. Czechowski, Peter A. Larsen, Heather N. Meeks, Juan P. Carrera, Ryan M. Duplechin, Roger Hewson, Asankadyr T. Junushov, Olga N. Gavrilova, Irena Breininger, Carleton J. Phillips, Robert J. Baker, and John Hay

Author affiliations: State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA (B.J. Briggs, D.M. Czechowski, J. Hay); Health Protection Agency, Porton Down, Salisbury, UK (B. Atkinson, R. Hewson); Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA (P.A. Larsen, H.N. Meeks, J.P. Carrera, R.M. Duplechin, C.J. Phillips, R.J. Baker); National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic (A.T. Junushov); and Ministry of Healthcare of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek (O.N. Gavrilova, I. Breininger)

Suggested citation for this article

Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is an emerging pathogen in Europe and Asia. We investigated TBEV in Kyrgyzstan by collecting small mammals and ticks from diverse localities and analyzing them for evidence of TBEV infection. We found TBEV circulating in Kyrgyzstan much farther south and at higher altitudes than previously reported.

Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae. The TBEV positive-sense RNA genome is translated as a polyprotein and subsequently cleaved into 3 structural and 7 nonstructural (NS) proteins (1). TBEV has 3 subtypes— European, Siberian, and Far-Eastern—each of which has its own ecology, clinical presentation, and geographic distribution (2). The vectors are Ixodes ricinus ticks for the European subtype and I. persulcatus ticks for the other 2 subtypes. TBEV circulates through a complex cycle involving small mammals, ticks, and large mammals (3); it can also be transmitted through consumption of unpasteurized milk and milk products (4).

Our unpublished data and that of others suggest that TBEV circulates in Kazakhstan. However, we have found no reports (in English) since 1978 of TBEV infection in the neighboring Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan). Kyrgyzstan has extensive alpine and subalpine habitats (94% of Kyrgyzstan is >1,000 m above sea level) (5); the Tien Shan mountain range dominates and physiographically links Kyrgyzstan to the Himalayas and western People's Republic of China. We conducted fieldwork in Kyrgyzstan during June–July 2007 and July–August 2009 to establish a baseline of risk for zoonotic diseases, including TBEV.

Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus, Kyrgyzstan | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article
Briggs BJ, Atkinson B, Czechowski DM, Larsen PA, Meeks HN, Carrera JP, et al. Tick-borne encephalitis virus, Kyrgyzstan. Emerg Infect Dis [serial onthe Internet]. 2011 Mar [date cited].


DOI: 10.3201/eid1705.101183

Comments to the Authors
Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

Benjamin J. Briggs, 606 BRB, State University of New York, South Campus, 3435 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA
; email: bjbriggs@buffalo.edu

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