Prevalence of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in samples of raw milk taken randomly from cows, goats and sheep in eastern Poland.
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Unit of Zoonotic Diseases, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
Department of Parasitology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
Chair of Department of Biology and Parasitology, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Ewa Cisak   

Unit of Zoonotic Diseases, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2010;17(2):283–286
A total of 119 unpasteurized milk samples taken from 63 cows, 29 goats and 27 sheep bred on 8 farms situated on the territory of the Lublin province (eastern Poland), an area of risk of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), were examined for the presence of RNA of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) by the nested RT-PCR method. Milk samples were also tested for the presence of anti-TBEV antibodies by ELISA test. By RT-PCR, the greatest prevalence of TBE virus was found in the milk of sheep (22.2%), followed by milk of goats (20.7%) and cows (11.1%). By ELISA, the greatest prevalence of anti- TBEV antibodies was found also in the milk of sheep (14.8%), followed by milk of cows (3.2%) and goats (0%). The results suggest a potential risk of infection with TBEV by drinking raw milk on endemic areas of TBE, and indicate a need for milk pasteurization before consumption.
This study was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (Grant: N N404 029435). The authors are grate- ful to Dr J. Süss from the Friedrich Löffler Institute in Jena, Ger- many, for kind providing of the TBEV positive control, and to Dr hab. Anna Szymanowska from the University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland, for kind providing the milk samples from sheep.
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