TBE vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis.

TBE – Tick-borne encephalitis: A guide

TBE, also known as tick-borne encephalitis, is a human viral infectious disease that involves the central nervous system. This disease can rarely lead to death or long-term neurological sequelae. TBE is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick.

Virus subtypes of TBE

There are three virus subtypes of TBE:

  • European/Western tick-borne encephalitis virus
  • Sibiran
  • Far Eastern

The incubation period for TBE is usually between 7 and 14 days and is often seen as asymptomatic or with mild flu-like symptoms. It is also called: Central European Encephalitis, Early Summer-Meningoenzephalitis (FSME) and Russian

Vaccination against TBE

Several countries have vaccination against TBE as part of the children's vaccination program, and the relatively few registered cases in these countries must therefore be seen as a result. It is about bla. on Austria and Switzerland.

The prevalence of TBE

TBE is endemic to certain areas of Europe and Asia. These stretch from eastern France to northern Japan and from northern Russia to Albania. About 5,000–13,000 TBE cases are reported each year, with large annual fluctuations. Russia has the largest number of reported cases. The highest disease incidence has been reported from western Siberia, Slovenia and the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania).

Other European countries with reported cases or known endemic areas include Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Asian countries with reported TBE cases or virus activity include China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and South Korea.

Most cases occur from April to November, with peaks in early and late summer when ticks are active.

The incidence and severity of the disease are highest in people aged ≥50 years.

In Denmark, in recent years, TBE has been seen spread from Tisvilde Hegn to the rest of North Zealand, going down to Hareskoven and Hørsholm. In addition, there has been TBE on Bornholm for 40 years. There are also sporadic cases on Falster and in Central Jutland. In Sweden, TBE is a major problem with 472 cases registered last year, despite many vaccinated. The same is the case in e.g. Austria and Switzerland.

Map of the incidence of TBE in Europe

Off-label program for people > 50 years of age

Off-label, four doses can be given in the first year against the usual 3. This is standard in Sweden.

This is what the offlabel vaccination form looks like for people> 50 years:

  • First dose
  • Second dose, one month after the first dose.
  • Third dose, two months after the second dose.
  • Fourth dose, five to twelve months after the third dose.
  • Fifth dose, three years after the fourth dose.
  • Next, revaccination every 5 years or 3 years if you are> 60 years old.

When should I start vaccination?

Vaccination that begins in the winter months basically provides protection in the coming spring season.