Gritsun TS., Nuttall PA., Gould EA.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), one of the most dangerous neuroinfections in Europe and Asia, is caused by tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) and currently involves approximately 11,000 human cases annually, mostly in Russia. This chapter describes the main problems associated with the epidemiology, ecology, pathogenesis, and control of this disease. We have attempted to review the factors that influence the incidence and distribution of TBE, and to discuss possible reasons for the different clinical manifestations including most commonly observed asymptomatic infections, fever forms, acute encephalitis, and the less frequently registered biphasic milk fever and chronic encephalitis. Epidemiologic data concerning the other tick-borne flaviviruses, namely Louping ill virus, Langat virus, and Powassan virus that also produce encephalitis on a smaller scale, are also presented. Here we describe the history and current epidemiological role of Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus and Kyasanur forest disease virus, two viruses that are genetically closely related to TBEV, but produce hemorrhagic fever instead of encephalitis, and provide possible explanations for these differences. The other viruses in the tick-borne flavivirus group are also included despite the fact that they do not play an essential epidemiologic role in humans. This chapter contains a brief history of vaccination against TBE including the trials with live attenuated vaccine and reviews the modern trends in development of vaccine virus strains.