With global warming and lush forest change, vector-borne infections are expected to increase in the number and diversity of agents. Since the first report of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in 2013, the number of reported cases has increased annually in South Korea. However, although tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) was detected from ticks and wild rodents, there is no human TBE case report in South Korea. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of TBEV and SFTS virus (SFTSV) among forest and field workers in South Korea. From January 2017 to August 2018, a total 583 sera were obtained from the forest and field workers in South Korea. IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and neutralization assay were conducted for TBEV, and indi-rect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and neutralization assay were performed for SFTSV. Seroprevalence of TBEV was 0.9% (5/583) by IgG ELISA, and 0.3% (2/583) by neutralization assay. Neutralizing antibody against TBEV was detected in a forest worker in Jeju (1:113) and Hongcheon (1:10). Only 1 (0.2%) forest worker in Yeongju was seropositive for SFTSV by IFA (1:2,048) and neutralizing antibody was detected also. In conclusion, this study shows that it is necessary to raise the awareness of physicians about TBEV infection and to make efforts to survey and diagnose vector-borne diseases in South Korea.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
JYS was supported by a Korea University Guro Hospital grant (No. I1602131) that was underwritten by Pfizer. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
© 2021 Noh et al. T.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases