Tick-borne encephalitis outbreak in Hungary due to consumption of raw goat milk

Zsuzsanna Balogh, Emoke Ferenczi, Klara Szeles, Pawel Stefanoff, Wlodzimierz Gut, Katalin N. Szomor, Maria Takacs, Gyorgy Berencsi

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66 Citations (Scopus)


A tick-borne encephalitis outbreak involving 25 patients of 154 exposed persons occurred in Hungary in August 2007. None of the patients had a history of tick-bite, however all of them drank unpasteurized raw goat milk from the same farm. The aim of this study was to identify the goats on the farm which could have spread the infection through their milk. Blood samples were taken from 75 goats on the farm and were examined by various serological methods, namely indirect immunofluorescent assay, hemagglutination inhibition, microneutralization and an ELISA adapted to testing material from goats, to determine antibody levels in the serum. The four methods have proved different levels of specificity. The least specific was the indirect immunofluorescent assay, which showed a low titre in all sera. Comparison of the results of the other three methods indicates that two sera were positive for anti-TBEV IgG and one for anti-TBEV IgM. The goat with the IgM positive serum sample could have been a source of the infected milk. It has been concluded that serological results for goats by the different methods should be compared before final diagnosis because the specificity of methods in use can differ significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-485
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2010


  • Competitive ELISA
  • Goat
  • Milk
  • Tick-borne encephalitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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