Laboratory diagnosis of tick-borne encephalitis

  • H. Hofmann
  • C. Kunz
  • F. X. Heinz
Conference paper
Part of the Archives of Virology Supplementum book series (ARCHIVES SUPPL, volume 1)


As isolation of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus is successful only from blood in the first, nonspecific phase of disease or from autopsy material, laboratory diagnosis is done usually by serological means. Classical serologic tests have been replaced by ELISA for detecting IgM antibodies to TBE virus. We tested ELISA formats that demonstrated differences in both sensitivity and susceptibility to interfering factors, e.g., rheumatoid factors or heterophile antibodies. In our experience the anti-μ test using enzyme-labelled antigen proved to be the method best suited for routine laboratory diagnosis of TBE virus infection.

In Austria between 200,000 and 300,000 primary TBE vaccinations are performed each year. This may cause diagnostic problems because IgM antibodies persist in the vaccinees for as long as 8 months. In such cases confirmatory diagnosis may require demonstrating locally formed antibodies in the brain. For that purpose a special anti-μ ELISA was developed.


Japanese Encephalitis Japanese Encephalitis Virus Neurotropic Virus Heterophile Antibody Enterovirus Meningitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Hofmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • C. Kunz
    • 1
  • F. X. Heinz
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of VirologyUniversity of ViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of VirologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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