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Frühsommer-Meningoenzephalitis-Virus Nachweis beim Europäischen Igel (Erinaceus europaeus)


Schönbächler, K; Hatt, Jean-Michel; Silaghi, Cornelia; Merz, N; Fraefel, C; Bachofen, Claudia (2019). Frühsommer-Meningoenzephalitis-Virus Nachweis beim Europäischen Igel (Erinaceus europaeus). Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde, 161(1):23-31.

Abstract

European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) have a high exposure to various ticks, which could transmit pathogens with direct health significance for the host and may have zoonotic potential. Tick-borne meningoencephalitis (FSME) is an important tick-borne disease in Switzerland, caused by the tick-borne encephalitis virus. About its occurrence in the European hedgehog population is little known. The present study examined various organs, blood and ticks of 65 European hedgehogs to obtain data of FSME virus presence in this species in Switzerland. Real-time RT-PCR from the lungs, liver, spleen and kidney of 56 hedgehogs and of 114 infesting ticks (Ixodes hexagonus or Ixodes ricinus) were used for the detection of viral RNA. In addition, 19 blood samples were tested for antibodies against FSME by ELISA. FSME virus antibodies were detected for the first time in the serum of a European hedgehog. Lung and spleen tissue samples of the same animal tested also weak virus positive on RT-PCR. Clinically, the hedgehog showed neurological symptoms, although these symptoms could have originated from an other diseases. No viral RNA was detected in any of the ticks. This study could not confirm if the meningoencephalitis in the hedgehog was triggered by the FSME viral infection. Nevertheless, the simultaneous detection of antibodies and virus RNA in the same animal makes the European hedgehog a competent host of the tick-borne encephalitis virus and leads to the assumption that this species can act as a reservoir.

Abstract

European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) have a high exposure to various ticks, which could transmit pathogens with direct health significance for the host and may have zoonotic potential. Tick-borne meningoencephalitis (FSME) is an important tick-borne disease in Switzerland, caused by the tick-borne encephalitis virus. About its occurrence in the European hedgehog population is little known. The present study examined various organs, blood and ticks of 65 European hedgehogs to obtain data of FSME virus presence in this species in Switzerland. Real-time RT-PCR from the lungs, liver, spleen and kidney of 56 hedgehogs and of 114 infesting ticks (Ixodes hexagonus or Ixodes ricinus) were used for the detection of viral RNA. In addition, 19 blood samples were tested for antibodies against FSME by ELISA. FSME virus antibodies were detected for the first time in the serum of a European hedgehog. Lung and spleen tissue samples of the same animal tested also weak virus positive on RT-PCR. Clinically, the hedgehog showed neurological symptoms, although these symptoms could have originated from an other diseases. No viral RNA was detected in any of the ticks. This study could not confirm if the meningoencephalitis in the hedgehog was triggered by the FSME viral infection. Nevertheless, the simultaneous detection of antibodies and virus RNA in the same animal makes the European hedgehog a competent host of the tick-borne encephalitis virus and leads to the assumption that this species can act as a reservoir.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Confirmation of Tick-borne encephalitis virus in an European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology

05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Virology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Veterinary, Antibody; Anticorpi; Anticorps; Antikörper; Flavivirus; Hôte-réservoir; Ixodes spp.; Reservoir host; Schweiz; Suisse; Svizzera; Switzerland; Wirt; host; hôte; ospite; ospite ­serbatoio; ­Reservoirwirt
Language:German
Date:5 January 2019
Deposited On:16 Jan 2019 11:04
Last Modified:16 Jan 2019 13:47
Publisher:Gesellschaft Schweizer Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte
ISSN:0036-7281
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.17236/sat00191
PubMed ID:30602429

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