Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a viral infectious disease involving the central nervous system. The disease most often manifests as meningitis, encephalitis or meningoencephalitis. Myelitis and spinal paralysis also occurs. In about one third of cases sequelae, predominantly cognitive dysfunction, persist for a year or more.
The number of reported cases has been increasing in most countries. TBE is posing a concerning health challenge to Europe, as the number of reported human cases of TBE in all endemic regions of Europe have increased by almost 400% within the last three decades.
The tick-borne encephalitis virus is known to infect a range of hosts including ruminants, birds, rodents, carnivores, horses, and humans. The disease can also be spread from animals to humans, with ruminants and dogs providing the principal source of infection for humans.